Wherever you Roam: Preparing for happy holidays

October/November edition of Capacity Magazine: Carriers have had time to digest the explosion in traffic since the EU introduced the Roam-like-at-Home regulation,  so how have they dealt with impact?

Two summers have now passed since the EU’s roam-like-at-home (RLAH) regulation came into effect, abolishing charges for users and applying a regime for cuts in wholesale caps. That means carriers are getting a better sense of the roaming traffic patterns they face on their networks going forward, and how to deal with them. These first two summers were always going to be a crunch time to assess the impact – the first because everybody knew there would be an explosion in roaming traffic, but not exactly how big it would be; and the second because there was no previous barometer for how take-up would continue.

Major carriers point out that they had already been making preparations for years, given that roaming rates have fallen in the EU each year since 2007. And they have bolstered their IPX services to handle the traffic rises.

After last summer’s surge, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier increased its IPX capacity “dramatically”, says Christian Wollner, the company’s head of product management for mobile world – upgrading to 2 x 100Gbps at the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX). Wollner expects a “second round” of people starting to use services abroad, as more get used to it and fears of bill shock fall. He says a big chunk of the traffic driving volumes is coming from video – and uses his own behaviour to illustrate this.

“Before, I was really careful with video such as Netflix because I knew that it was big loads of data, and I turned to Wi-Fi in a hotel when I was travelling. And now within the EU, I just behave as if I were at home.”
Christian Wollner, Head of Product Management for Mobile World, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier

Read the full article " Wherever you Roam: Preparing for happy holidays" in Capacity Magazine's October/November edition.

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