BARCELONA Feb 25 Verizon Wireless expects to
sign its first international roaming agreement later this year
for customers of its fastest wireless service who travel
overseas, according to a top executive for the No. 1 U.S. mobile
While Verizon Wireless has 200 partnerships with overseas
operators for its older, third-generation mobile service, it has
not yet been able to set up agreements for its fourth-generation
Long Term Evolution (LTE) data service, which was first offered
in the United States in late 2010.
Verizon Wireless Chief Technology Officer Nicola Palmer said
on Monday that roaming agreements have been delayed because many
operators are behind in upgrading their networks and some
countries have yet to auction the wireless airwaves that
carriers would need to upgrade to LTE.
"So getting 4G roaming for our customers is going to take a
while," Palmer told Reuters at the Mobile World Congress trade
show in Barcelona. "These relationships will take some time to
put in place."
While more traditional roaming agreements involve both voice
and data services for cellphones, Palmer said the company could
provide "data only roaming offers so for devices like tablets."
Palmer declined to say who the first partner would be, but
noted she would spend her time at the annual event this year
discussing LTE roaming deals.
Such deals would also involve foreign visitors roaming on
Verizon Wireless' network when they are in the United States,
Another company representative, Thomas Pica, said Verizon
Wireless would have roaming in place in several countries
including Canada in 2014.
Verizon Wireless is a venture of Verizon Communications Inc
and Vodafone Group Plc.