Roaming Report – Part 1 – Roaming with Verizon – A First!

It’s March 2024 and for the first time in 5 years (thank you Covid pandemic), I was in the US again. So far, so good, but there is one significant difference this time, at least from a technical point of view: For the first time ever, I’m roaming with Verizon!

Most travelers won’t even notice, but until recently, Verizon in the US could not be an international roaming partner for most travelers, because their 2G and 3G CDMA networks were incompatible with the majority of international networks. Even with the introduction of LTE, this did not change. This was because for GSM/UMTS/LTE/5G network operators, international roaming depended on the 2G/3G circuit switched voice core and the CS-fallback mechanism from LTE/5G to GSM or UMTS. And this is what Verizon could not offer to international operators. But finally, VoLTE roaming is on the rise and it seems my home operator has made a roaming agreement with Verizon. Agreed, most people use Internet based voice calling apps these days, including me, but VoLTE roaming support in devices and networks is still crucial for emergency calling and calls to people that don’t share the same messenger / calling app.

So here we go, one of those rare ‘firsts’! And as the title indicates, I made good use of my time in North America and had a look at a lot of other things while roaming. So stay tuned for more posts to come!