SK Telecom, Swisscom, Elisa announce 5G roaming agreements
LTE users can travel around the world and, thanks to a litany of roaming agreements struck by operators, their phones work. With commercial 5G service popping up in markets on six continents, how will 5G roaming work? With what the two operators are calling a “world’s first,” SK Telecom in Korea and Europe’s Swisscom are offering 5G roaming for users with a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
According to the companies, SK Telecom and Swisscom have a mutual 5G roaming agreement and Swisscom also has an arrangement in place with Finnish operator Elisa to allow Swisscom users visiting Finland to roam onto Elisa’s 5G network.
Swisscom, using network kit from Ericsson, launched 5G services in mid-April with coverage in around 110 cities and village, including Zurich, Bern, Geneva, Basel, Lausanna and Lucerne. SK Telecom launched commercial services on April 3 and has some 34,000 5G base stations deployed in 85 cities.. Elisa has 5G networks up and running in Turku, Tampere and Jyväskylä, and is testing a network in Helsinki.
In terms of pricing, Elisa is the only operator of the trio that detailed how much 5G roaming will cost. The company said 1 GB of data from Swisscom’s network will cost 19,90€.
SKT’s Han Myung-Jin, VP and head of MNO Business Supporting Group, said the company “will continuously expand our 5G roaming service to enhance customer experience and benefits.” The company is planning a software upgrade for the LG V50 to support 5G roaming.
An Swisscom executive also said in a statement the company intends to strike more roaming agreements.
Vodafone has also demonstrated 5G roaming with Ericsson, using a virtualized core network covering its networks in Spain and Portugal.