A job ad from Verizon Wireless points to Canada and Western Europe as being the among the first international areas where the operator may try and enable 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) roaming services for its subscribers.
The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based operator has been looking for a global LTE roaming manager to work with its new 4G network.
"The Manager of Global LTE Roaming is accountable for supporting the overall marketing plan to bring global LTE roaming for Verizon Wireless customers traveling overseas and also laying the groundwork for inbound LTE roaming," the ad copy reads. "This position will focus particularly on the Canadian and Western European markets."
Verizon says that the goal of the job is "to drive global roaming revenue growth" as the applicant gains understanding of "how Verizon Wireless can capitalize on its LTE footprint for the next 3-5 years."
Enabling global roaming across LTE networks is no small task. Despite the technology being promoted as a "global standard," there are multiple radio frequencies that need to be supported and China -- for one -- is deploying a somewhat different format for 4G LTE. (See TDD Camp Sets Out Global Ambitions for more on the ambitions of the Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) crowd.)
Verizon has made no secret of its global LTE roaming ambitions: The wireless operator's CTO, David Small, told AllThingsD in September that Verizon is already having talks with its global partners, China Mobile Communications Corp. and Vodafone Group plc.
Of course, Verizon and AT&T Inc. LTE subscribers can't currently roam between each operator's bands on their respective 700MHz 4G deployments.
Why this matters
Canada and Western Europe could prove to be some of the easier areas to roam to on LTE. Rogers Wireless Communications Inc. is currently running its initial LTE markets on 2.1GHz, but Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement has previously said that a 700MHz auction could happen by late 2012. This would broadly align Canadian 4G with Verizon's service frequencies.
European regulators, meanwhile, have reached an agreement that all EU countries move to approve the use of the 800MHz frequency for mobile broadband services by January 2013. 800MHz is close enough to 700MHz that it should make incorporating radio support for both services possible.
Read up on roaming below:
â€” Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile