Light Reading
Interconnect deals and operator urgency are helping bring LTE users closer to global roaming

LTE Inches Closer to Roaming the Globe

Sarah Reedy
6/26/2013
50%
50%

4G LTE roaming has always had two challenges: one technical -- hopping disparate spectrum bands and networks -- and one commercial -- getting the operators to work together and hash out network-sharing deals.

At the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam this week, there's been some important progress made on the latter.

Leading up to the show, Swisscom announced it would support LTE roaming powered by Ericsson's new Diameter Signaling Controller. It's claiming to be the first European operator to take roaming across the globe, starting in South Korea, Canada and Hong Kong. (See Euronews: Swisscom Boasts LTE Roaming.)

Telenor International will also begin offering LTE roaming using Tekelec's diameter routing gear. The pair says that by working together they'll enable national and international roaming along with over-the-top services like VoIP. (See Telenor Global Uses Tekelec's DSR.)

These may seem like fairly limited implementations – Swisscom will only roam to South Korea at first, for example. But the fact that LTE roaming is picking up momentum is important as the number of LTE networks and the amount of data they carry continue to multiply.

According to a Telecoms.com report from the LTE Summit, Tommy Ljunggren, VP of system development at TeliaSonera, said that rolling out just one roaming agreement can take four to six months. Considering that the Global Mobile Suppliers Association says there are 156 commercial LTE networks deployed as of March, linking them all up is no small task. The operators, however, are eager to do so given the revenues they are losing when traveling customers disconnect.

That's why interconnect vendors like Tekelec and iBasis that serve as the central point to connect a number of different operators are picking up steam. (See LTE Roaming Action Intensifies.)

This week, iBasis has announced deals with both TeliaSonera International and Chunghwa Telecom. TeliaSonera is hooking up its Diameter signaling and data hubs with the vendor's to enable interoperability across its footprint of partners. And, in Taiwan, Chunghwa is tapping iBasis to offer LTE roaming, along with a number of services over its IPX, including HD voice, GRX, SMS, LTE signaling and voice-over LTE. (See TeliaSonera Int. & iBasis Team on LTE Roaming and iBasis, Chunghwa Strike IPX Accord.)

As the operators continue to rack up roaming agreements and their handset makers continue to work out the technical issues related to LTE roaming -- like supporting enough bands in the handset while keeping costs down -- they will soon be able to tackle LTE roaming's next biggest challenge: monetization. (See Talkin' the Low Down LTE Roaming Blues.)

"We expect the monetization of LTE roaming to happen now but continue at a faster pace after a critical level of the LTE subscribers start using LTE, and the necessary roaming interconnects are achieved over the next few months," iBasis CTO Ajay Joseph writes in an email to Light Reading.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SarahReedy
0%
100%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
6/26/2013 | 7:30:45 PM
re: LTE Inches Closer to Roaming the Globe
As to why it takes so long to work out a deal with operators, iBasis' Joseph says it's because it takes awhile to pass interoperability validation testing at the Diameter level between operators. It's still a new protocol, so it requires some specialized skills and interoperability challenges.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed