Additional partnerships set to launch early next year along with LTE roaming abroad for EE customers
UK carrier EE has announced that it's the first network operator to launch "inbound 4G roaming" for visitors to the UK, having reached its first LTE roaming agreement with U.S. operator AT&T. That means — technology-permitting — that AT&T subscribers should be able to roam on EE's 4G LTE network in the UK at some point in the future.
And there'll also be benefits for EE customers traveling overseas, as the operator says it'll open up LTE roaming to subscribers in the first half of 2014, though no specifics were revealed in today's announcement. EE currently offers a variety of roaming packages for traveling customers, but at present these top out at HSPA data speeds.
It's worth noting that LTE roaming agreements, while important, may still be hampered by the great variety of frequencies used by LTE networks around the world. AT&T, for instance, has much of its LTE deployed on 700MHz, while EE primarily uses 1800MHz. As such most devices currently sold on one network don't support the other's LTE bands.
Nevertheless agreements like this, and the recent partnership between AT&T and Canadian operator Rogers, are a significant first step. For its part, EE says it plans to announce more 4G roaming partners early next year.
EE FIRST TO OFFER SUPERFAST 4G ROAMING FOR VISITORS TO THE UK
· EE is the first UK operator to launch inbound 4G roaming for travellers on international networks visiting the UK
· First agreement with AT&T, with more to launch early next year
· EE customers set to benefit from 4G speeds when travelling abroad by the first half of next year
16th December, 2013 – EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today announced the first 4G LTE roaming agreement in the UK, with AT&T. EE is set to launch additional partnerships early next year.
EE is the UK’s biggest and fastest 4G network, and will cover more than 160 towns and cities by Christmas. This makes EE the partner of choice for international operators looking to offer their customers the best voice quality and the fastest and most reliable internet experience when using their mobile devices in the UK.
With average speeds of 24-30Mbps in major cities across the UK, customers on partner networks will be able to fully unlock the potential of their smartphones abroad – allowing them to instantly load maps, search the best activities and restaurants and post updates on their travels to friends and family back home.
Olaf Swantee, CEO, EE said: “Technology is not just shaping how people book and research holidays; but what they look for when they are choosing a country to visit. From finding their way to local landmarks, to avoiding the Oxford street crowds by shopping on their tablet, tourists are increasingly looking for fast and reliable mobile experiences when they travel abroad.
With the biggest and fastest 4G network in the UK, we can provide our partners’ customers with the best mobile experience to stay connected when they visit the UK.”
The adoption of 4G LTE around the world is happening much faster than 3G as people rely on fast mobile internet to stay connected on the go. In order to unlock the full potential of 4G roaming, EE is working with our Rest of World partners on innovative new wholesale models to ensure customers have access to the data they need to stay connected abroad.