AT&T adds 4G roaming to UK with EE

AT&T adds 4G roaming to UK with EE

Summary: AT&T's US customers should be able to access EE's LTE network, but pricing and speeds remain vague for now.

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AT&T's US customers visiting the UK should benefit from a new 4G roaming arrangement with the EE.

The agreement should mean that visiting Americans who are AT&T customers can use their own phones and SIM cards to in theory (due to spectrum differences) access average speeds of between 24Mbps and 30Mbps on EE's network, which will cover 160 towns and cities by Christmas.

The AT&T deal is EE's first 4G roaming agreement, and the operator expects to ink similar deals in early 2014.

EE said that its UK customers should gain access to 4G networks when travelling abroad by the first half of next year; however, a spokesperson for the company declined to provide details of which countries will be included to ZDNet.

Also not mentioned is whether US customers will need to pay additional fees to use EE's network. If the deal is similar to one AT&T announced earlier this month for US customers travelling to Canada, there will be additional fees when roaming, meaning the main advantage for subscribers is that they'll be able to keep on using their own phones, typically on-contract with locked SIMs, while travelling.

AT&T's deal with Canada's Rogers Communications offers US travellers access to the operator's Canadian LTE network, which covers 70 percent of the country's population. But to access the network, customers still need to buy one of AT&T's Data Global Add-On packages, which cost $30 for 120MB a month, $60 for 300MB a month, or $120 for 800MB a month, and are available for over 150 countries. Verizon charges similar prices data roaming for non-LTE data access in over 200 countries.

Verizon is expected to announce similar roaming arrangements next year, ZDNet's sister site CNET reported earlier this year.

The deal comes as Europe attempts to wipe out roaming charges for customers travelling in other EU countries.

Three UK earlier this year abandoned data roaming charges for its UK customers seven countries including Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.

Further reading

Topics: 4G, Mobility, EU, United Kingdom, AT&T

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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