Another LTE First For Me: Intercontinental Roaming

I've had quite a couple of LTE and roaming firsts this year and, as I've laid down in this post, 2014 is the year when affordable global Internet roaming finally became a reality. Apart from having used a couple of LTE networks in Europe over the last couple of months I can now also report my first intercontinental LTE experience. When I recently traveled with my German SIM card to the United States, I was greeted by an LTE logo from both the T-Mobile US and AT&T network. Data connectivity was as quick (but I didn't run speed tests  so I can't give a number) and with the 20 bands supported by my mobile device I could actually detect quite a number of LTE networks at the place in Southern California where I stayed for a week:

  • Verizon was active in band 13 (700 MHz)
  • Metro-PCS in Band 4 (1700/2100 MHz)
  • AT&T was available in band 4 (1700/2100 MHz) and Band 17 (700 MHz)
  • Sprint had a carrier on air in band 25 (1900 MHz, FDD) and band 41 (2500 MHz, TDD)
  • T-Mobile US had a carrier on air in band 4 (1700/2100)

And in case you wonder how you can find LTE transmissions without special equipment, have a look here. It's not quite straightforward to map transmissions to network operators but not impossible with a bit of help of Wikipedia (see here and here) and 3GPPs band plan that shows uplink and downlink frequencies of the different bands.