26th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS), Madrid, Spain, 24-27 June 2015
The telecommunication sector within the European Union is facing fundamental changes, both because of global developments such as the introduction of OTT services and because of the hurdles along the way towards the transition to a European Digital Single Market. In this unified market many European operators possibly won’t survive in their current form but it is expected that the resulting ones be more resilient and strong. This leads to extended interactions between technology, market and regulation and the possible outcome scenarios, deriving from these interactions, shape to a great extent the developments in the European Telecommunications market, bringing changes in the strategies of OTT and Telecom operators and leading the evolution of their surrounding ecosystem. In a unified market in the telecom sector, mandated by EU regulation and developments in the field of communications, there is potential for fundamental changes that will ensure that the market evolves and adjusts successfully to this new frame and that the consumers’ needs are fully met. On the one hand, it is important that the EU regulatory frameworks are clear and well thought, but in return Telecoms need to make their own strategic adjustments to survive within those frameworks. This paper explores the possible effects of the termination of international roaming charges on Telecom operators and sets the ground based on which strategic changes can be made in order to compensate for the loss of this revenue stream. Inside the European Union several voices have been raised about the economic gains of a Single Market of telecommunications. The scale of these gains are difficult to predict but the transition to a more unified telecommunications market is a vision that the EU attempts to complete gradually, demanding that Telecom operators eventually comply and adjust. There is a big sea of possibilities for corporate strategies that telecom operators can follow to grow in revenue and profitability and some companies are already showing signs of what they plan to do. Also there are already trends observed in terms of capital for concentration and consolidation in this sector which leads to a basic conclusion that companies are trying to get ready even in adverse financial times. This paper aims at identifying the players in the roaming market and making clearer which strategic trends are being popularized and have more chances of resulting in a successful strategy for telecom operators.