Will roaming end?

Is this the end of roaming?    

For over 10 years, some telecom and roaming market professionals have been telling me that roaming is about to end.

They comment on how ‘EU IOTs would jeopardize the market, SS7 is obsolete, pricing erosions will drop all revenues, SMS product life was over, commoditization of services would deeply affect our industry’ and many other negative perspectives.

Whilst I do believe that some of these points are valid, I have to disagree on many others.

The technical evolution of the roaming world

I have observed that technology evolves, adapting and shifting into new industry trends and market needs.

We can be excited by the emergence of awesome data mining algorithms, and B.I. and real time monitoring tools. Some people label this new application layers as Big Data, A.I., Metadata DBs etc. and I think this is a new beginning.

A short history of roaming in Brazil

I’ll try not to sound nostalgic, but I still remember 1G, AMPS and Ruralcel in Brazil back in the 90s. This  definitely marked a turning point in mobile communication services, allowing us to be more connected.

Afterwards came TDMA and CDMA 2G techs, spreading national roaming as a prime need to add more value to voice services. These complex businesses models were applicable to each state and region of Brazil according to ANATEL’s PGR.

The first data experience

2G brought WAP, GPRS and Edge as the first data experience for customers.

I still remember the fraud issues being a major point to overcome at this time. This led to the design of the first antifraud systems.

3G: a turning point in mobile communication

The 3G UMTS and HSPA networks were a turning point in mobile communication. They marked an irreversible step in data services and mobile internet, leading to phones able to access e-mails, and almost real-time interaction.

4G and LTE: data without limits

4G with LTE led to an increased experience and a deep dive into the data ecosystem. Alongside this, the new generation of smartphone devices revolutionized human interaction and social experiences forever, similar to the way that Gutenberg’s Druckmaschine started to convert written scrolls into pressed books almost 600 years ago.

Virtualization became reality – liquid modernity flowed incessantly.


Technology has no political boundaries, and has continued to create change.

So what’s next?

What’s next for roaming?

We are already seeing 5G, M2M, IoT and other techs rising.

Even with the worldwide pandemic crisis we are currently facing, M2M traffic has increased substantially in many countries.

Roaming is not dead or dying – it’s evolving


How Comfone can support your roaming evolution

Comfone has designed the tools and apps to operate in the application layer with correlation and aggregation, leading to the enhancement of data.

This means that it is possible to understand the behavior of devices in this new technical age, and learn how the new market is being established.

Besides monitoring new traffic, the value lies in the possibility of development and monetization of new products so far not considered by MNOs and Solution Providers.

We can access these KPIs and understand the real usage of new devices and have insights about trends and new businesses.

Advanced algorithms detect devices by IMEI, usage, traffic patterns and network activity in different periods of time splitting into new unexpected market segments.

For example, with Vantage, iQuery and Profiles tools it is possible to define queries to access and cross IPX, CDR, IMSI, IMEI and other info to create own Data Marts and run business intelligence views, maps and charts.

Comfone evolves alongside the roaming industry

The wheel of time is relentless. Roaming is again adapting itself to a new technology and behaviors, which include the machines we create ourselves, and the way humans deal with evolution.

Our strategy for the future

Comfone is heading towards the future. Our customers remain at the centre of what we do. We are pioneers in the roaming industry, and keep ahead of any evolution in the market. We remain consistent, shaping our services to react to changes whilst maintaining our high quality and simplicity of use that our customers are used to.

Would you like to learn more about the Big Data, M2M and B.I. tools or any of our other services? Click here

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About the author

Daniel Gontijo

Engineer of Electronics and Telecommunication, became Director of Sales at Comfone in 2008. With technical, business and brewing technology academic background, he is responsible for sales, strategy and commercial activities in the markets of Africa, Caribbean and Latin America. He likes to brew beer and meads, to cook, to hike, to read different philosophy authors, to drive long roads in his holidays, to grill with friends and to support Galo, the football club from Minas Gerais in Brazil.

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