MTS joins rivals in roaming on foreign 5G networks

15 Mar 2021

Russia’s Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has introduced international mobile data roaming on 5G networks in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) via agreements with Telia Company, Vodafone and Etisalat. MTS customers owning smartphones compatible with the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz (n78) 5G frequency band can use high speed 5G mobile internet services in these countries at the existing MTS tariffs for data transfer in international roaming, while the company says the list of 5G roaming partners will expand in due course.

Russian rival operator MegaFon has offered 5G international roaming since February 2020 and currently provides the service in at least 17 countries (Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Romania, Monaco, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait). Tele2 Russia – a subsidiary of Rostelecom – also began a 5G roaming service (initially in Switzerland) in August 2020.

Note that the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band is not commercially available for 5G services in Russia. Earlier this month MTS switched on a 5G user pilot network in the 4.4GHz-5.0GHz (n79) frequency range in 14 locations in Moscow, with selected compatible device users invited via SMS to try out the technology, while MTS engineers will be using the pilot to evaluate and optimise performance of the infrastructure.