Juniper Research predicted severe travel restrictions prompted by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic would lead to roaming revenue plunging by as much as $25 billion over the next nine months.
After studying the possible outcomes, the research company believes a low-impact scenario is now not possible and stated there is no strategy available for mobile operators to mitigate the anticipated loss.
However, given roaming revenue accounts for about 6 per cent of their total revenue, after dropping sharply from a decade ago, the overall impact will be minimal.
Its high-impact scenario assumes severe disruption to international travel will continue until the end of 2020, estimating more than 650 million passenger trips will be cancelled, some 80 per cent of the previously forecast international passenger bookings.
The company expects more than half of all operators’ roaming revenue for 2020 will be affected, with a loss of up to $12 billion during the peak international travel period between June and August.
It highlighted trips cancelled due to the outbreak are unlikely to be rebooked, so operators won’t be able to recover the revenue after travel returns to normal.