US round-up: AT&T expands international LTE roaming; T-Mobile to shut down selected MetroPCS markets; Verizon picks Samsung femtocells; Sprint embraces Wi-Fi calling

27 Feb 2014

AT&T Mobility has announced that it will offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) roaming services in 13 new countries, bringing the total number of markets covered to 15. AT&T has expanded its LTE roaming agreements to cover Spain (Orange), France (Bouygues Telecom), Japan (NTT DoCoMo), South Korea (KT Corp), Australia (Telstra), Hong Kong (Hong Kong Telecom), Switzerland (Swisscom), Malaysia (Celcom Axiata), the Philippines (Globe Telecom), Russia (MegaFon), Singapore (M1), Guam (DoCoMo Pacific) and Antigua & Barbuda (Digicel). Last year AT&T inked LTE roaming agreements with Rogers Communications of Canada and EE in the UK. According to Fierce Wireless, no other US carrier has yet announced an international LTE roaming agreement.

T-Mobile US has indicated that it will shut down subsidiary MetroPCS’ legacy CDMA networks in Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Boston by the end of this year – a full year earlier than expected. CEO John Legere noted: ‘That will yield significant cost savings in the future’, adding that the carrier will incur one-time charges related to the shutdown.

Samsung Mobile has been selected to supply indoor LTE solutions for Verizon Wireless, including femtocells, plus core network elements and a complete element management system. Verizon Wireless will deploy Samsung Mobile’s femtocell solution later this year as part of a seamless LTE experience for customers in indoor environments. Each femtocell can provide more than 60 simultaneous connections to Verizon’s LTE network.

US mobile operator Sprint has selected Taqua’s voice-over-Wi-Fi service to enhance voice and messaging services using Wi-Fi networks. In conjunction with this partnership, Kineto Wireless, a provider of OTT solutions to the mobile industry, has announced that Sprint has selected its Smart Wi-Fi client to enable Wi-Fi calling.