international voice telephony Archives

The trend to mobile continues. Mobile phones have been a key driver of growth, due to subscriber growth in developing countries and the recent emergence of low-cost international mobile calling plans. In 2007, nearly one-third of international calls were placed from mobile phones, and 45 percent of international calls were terminated on mobiles. Current trends suggest that by 2009, more international calls will be made to mobile phones than to fixed lines. More detail here.
Last month at the GSM Asia Pacific conference in Colombo, LIRNEasia’s Helani Galpaya presented some evidence on the way roaming charges have evolved in the region. She showed that overall South Asia’s roaming charges were higher than those in South East Asia and that South Asian operators also seemed to discriminate among visitors from different countries more. This research has, finally, been picked up and publicized, along with a statement from Rohan Samarajiva that bringing down intra-SAARC international voice telephone charges is a higher priority. This same statement was made at a SAARC Chamber of Commerce seminar, where LIRNEasia offered to provide the data to the national Chambers of Commerce so that they could increase the transparency of the roaming market, one of the most opaque. Knowing full well the weaknesses of regulation and the higher-priority tasks before the region’s regulatory agencies, LIRNEasia takes the position that the region’s operators should work together to come up with a reasonable regime for international roaming that allows customers to know what they are getting into when they make or receive a call/SMS while away from their countries.