How 5G is changing Steering of Roaming and How to Prepare for It







How 5G is changing Steering of Roaming and How to Prepare for It

Published: 2024/02/27

4 min read

In a post-pandemic world, international travel, both for business and leisure purposes, is recovering. Corporate travel’s rebound was projected to surpass two-thirds of 2019 levels by the end of 2023, according to a Deloitte report, while the private travel sector has recuperated after COVID-19, as reported by Euronews Business. With traveling on the rise, so too is mobile usage beyond native networks, as 5G data roaming traffic generated by consumer mobile and IoT connections will exceed 5,000 Petabytes in 2028, representing just over 70% of global data roaming traffic as documented by Kaleido Intelligence.

With the global travel business back on track, so is the roaming business, as Kaleido Intelligence indicates a cumulative 5G non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) roaming opportunity of over $100 billion in outbound and inbound revenues from consumer mobile and IoT connections over the next five years. However, the growing adoption of 5G in roaming services introduces new challenges for mobile network operators (MNOs). Overcoming them will deliver better solutions for B2C and B2B customers and present feasible growth opportunities.

5G Steering of Roaming challenges

With the upcoming introduction of 5G technology, mobile carriers must address these roaming challenges to ensure smooth operations:

Introduction of a new communication protocol in roaming: HTTP

HTTP is more than well-versed in tech, but the telecom carriers that have yet to take advantage of 5G will need to introduce HTTP protocol when implementing the new standard.

Establishing a completely new steering method

Instead of a mobile device sending a request for registration and rejecting such request, hoping it will hail another network (a process known as rejection-based steering), there is another option. In 5G networks, the mobile device asks its home network (via the network in the visited country it’s connected to) to send a binding list of preferred operators during the registration process (let’s call it preferred operator list steering), thus changing the way roaming steering work. Operators need to be aware of such critical shifts when adopting 5G technology.

Disruption of IP exchange (IPX) model with end-to-end encryption (E2EE)

With 5G ushering in the E2EE era, the telecommunications interconnection model for the exchange of IP-based traffic between customers and operators will make selling of Value-Added Services (VAS) impossible.

Read also: The Important Role of Open5GS in Private 5G Network Development

Amplitiv solutions that elevate 5G Steering of Roaming

To ensure wholesale roaming commitments are met even in the 5G era, Amplitiv has developed future-proof solutions that provide various tools to support your roaming revenues.

5G NSA and 5G SA Steering solutions for carriers

Amplitiv’s 5G NSA Sterring is operational and deployed. At the same time, the proof of concept (PoC) for 5G SA rejection-based steering for 5G was co-developed with one of the leading IPX carriers, Comfone. The goal of the PoC was to transport the legacy solution to 5G networks, and our engineering team was able to develop a tailored technology that fits roamers’ needs. You can find more details about Amplitiv’s cooperation with Comfone here.

Predictive 5G SA preferred operator list steering

Amplitiv has designed a series of innovative concepts and projects that can significantly benefit the preferred operator list steering in standalone networks, such as an advanced engine with AI-like features that analyzes roaming data based on existing information to predict where mobile devices and their users may end up when traveling (e.g. which country will they visit next?) This will allow the generation of a preferred operator list to make roaming as smooth and seamless as possible. Amplitiv is waiting for an MNO to participate in joint tests of such technology.

Read also: 5G Lab – Building and Connecting to Our Own 5G Network

Customized SMS Welcome service 5G for NSA and SA

Due to international compliance and regulations, mobile operators must provide instant communication with roamers after they attach to foreign networks. The Amplitiv Welcome SMS platform manages outbound messaging – even in 5G NSA networks. As part of its expertise, the company has also developed the software required to start testing SMS welcome services on 5G SA networks.


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5G is spearheading the change in roaming – don’t get left behind

According to The Telecoms Industry in 2024: Trends to Watch report by GSM Intelligence, the adoption of 5G technology is expected to continue growing steadily. By the end of 2024, there are estimated to be 2.1 billion connections, up from 1.6 billion in 2023. This increase in connections is expected to increase the number of 5G users significantly. Roaming services should keep up with industry changes, meet traffic targets, maintain quality and provide reporting and analytics.

If you want to ensure smooth integration of technologies, seamless product launches and develop forward-thinking solutions that help our customers, contact our experts by filling out the form.

Read also: 5G Lab – Running a Fully Containerized 5G Core with Open5GS

About the authorJakub Aleksejczuk

Product Manager

A product manager with over 5 years of experience in the roaming services business, Jakub oversaw the development of the Amplitiv's SMS Welcome platform from scratch. Currently, he manages Amplitiv’s roaming portfolio of products and works closely with roaming managers during implementations. His technical background and cooperation with operators on a global scale enable Jakub to understand the dynamic nature of the roaming services sector.

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