Swisscom offers international LTE roaming

More operators are increasingly turning their attention to roaming now that LTE deployments are emerging from the initial rollout stage. This week Swisscom joined the early adopters in providing LTE roaming services, courtesy of Ericsson.

With the installation of a Diameter Signalling Controller, designed to alleviate signalling load on networks, Swisscom claims to have become the first European operator to launch LTE roaming services on a global basis. The first signups will give the company’s LTE subscribers access to services when travelling in South Korea, Hong Kong and Canada.

Heinz Herren, CTO at Swisscom, said: “As the leading mobile operator in Switzerland, launching 4G/LTE roaming was an important step for us and all our 4G/LTE subscribers. They will now be able to use their services while travelling to many different countries in Asia and the Americas.”

LTE roaming is based on Diameter signalling, a protocol used between virtually all nodes in mobile-broadband networks. The rapid increase in mobile-broadband traffic also means the signalling required to set up and manage sessions for individual subscribers is growing very fast; a tenfold increase is expected between 2011 and 2016.

Back in February, the world’s first LTE network operator, Sweden’s TeliaSonera launched international 4G LTE roaming for customers of its Telia Denmark division, making it the first operator in Europe, if not the world, to offer LTE roaming.

A month later, South Korea’s SK Telecom signed an LTE data roaming deal with Globe Telecom, the second placed operator in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, a recent conversation with US carrier Verizon Wireless identified that the operator is on the lookout for LTE roaming partners around the world.

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