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.
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed