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Wireless customers have become accustomed to staying connected anywhere they go, including when traveling internationally. The CDMA2000 community is rapidly expanding its roaming capabilities and services to meet customers’ needs. CDMA2000 operators offer roaming on all continents and are leading the way in providing roaming services across different wireless standards.

What is Roaming?

Roaming is the ability to use a wireless device outside the home service area, including in foreign countries. Enabling roaming involves providing back-end services that recognize authorized “roamers” and allow them to use their home network services while on the visited network. Truly universal roaming requires handsets capable of multiple technologies and/or are designed to operate in different bands of the radio spectrum. With the growing adoption of data, especially Third Generation (3G) data services, providing seamless connectivity to home content while roaming is becoming increasingly important.

Roaming applies to domestic and international markets.

  • Domestic roaming is where customers roam from their home network to other networks within the same country.
  • International roaming allows users of wireless devices to travel to a foreign country and enjoy many of the same services they have in their home service area.

International Roaming on CDMA

CDMA2000 operators offer international roaming to their customers in major travel destinations either through agreements with other CDMA (cdmaOneTM and CDMA2000) operators, WCDMA or GSM carriers. CDMA2000 operators have taken the lead in offering true global roaming by introducing multi-mode, multi-band phones that work on GSM and CDMA networks.

With nearly 300 networks in over 100 countries, CDMA has the presence in key global markets to support international roaming. CDMA to CDMA roaming is available in many countries across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East. Many CDMA2000 operators have also established agreements with GSM operators, enabling them to offer international roaming in GSM markets. With the introduction of WorldModeTM multi-mode, multi-band phones, CDMA2000 operators can now provide transparent roaming across CDMA2000 and GSM networks with a single device.

The CDG has established the International Roaming Team (IRT) to lead the industry’s effort in providing subscribers with the ability to enjoy the benefits of CDMA service globally. The charter of the team is to develop tools and recommend best practices to assist operators in the deployment, maintenance and marketing of international roaming services.