Hong Kong's CSL and South Korea's SK Telecom claim to be offering the world’s first international LTE roaming service.
The operators plan to start offering LTE roaming next month, with prices set at the same level as their 3G roaming services. The pair claim the tie-up is a strong match, with each sporting similar subscriber numbers on 4G networks launched within the past two years.
CSL CTO Christian Daigneault says the partnership “is a significant milestone for the telecommunications industry, which continues to debate the feasibility of 4G LTE international roaming.”
But presently only SK Telecom customers using the Pantech Vega Racer 2 handset will be able to use their own devices for LTE roaming. CSL customers travelling to South Korea will have to borrow 4G handsets from the operator’s 1O1O Centre at the Hong Kong International Airport. Loans will be offered free of charge, and customers will use their own SIMs in the devices.
According to the companies, plans to expand roaming compatibility to more LTE smartphones are in motion.
CSL was the first Hong Kong operator to launch LTE services in November 2010. SK Telecom launched LTE services at the same time as rival LG U+ in July 2011.
CSL and SK Telecom were the first operators to achieve interconnection between LTE networks during a pilot trial in March. Last week, SK Telecom also launched what it asserts is the world's first live pilot of Multi-Carrier LTE technology.