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
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, 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
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive