Traveling Networks: New EU Roaming Policies & AT&T Announces Faster Network Service

Mobile Industry News for the Week of April 24, 2017

Starting this summer, the European Union will allow for free international roaming. Citizens will be able to travel throughout the EU and “roam at home” without extra roaming charges. AT&T also announced changes this week in the form of “5G Evolution,” a new service that operates on a faster LTE-U network and will help satisfy high data consuming customers as they wait for 5G deployment. The stories on our minds are below.

EU Will “Roam at Home” — This week, the European Council put legalities into place that limit how much operators can charge each other. This is the final step in eliminating roaming charges for the European Union, which has been a long time coming and will officially go into effect on June 15, according to TechCrunch. The “roam at home” policy will allow Europeans on holiday to browse the internet as if in their home country. Due to concern from telecom companies about “permanent roamers,” the European Commission will allow operators to detect users that are abusing the policy for four months. While this regulatory policy means new pricing models for EU carriers, it is a big step towards eliminating bill shock and bringing convenient services to carrier customers in Europe.

AT&T Rhymes With 5G — AT&T announced “5G Evolution” this week, a new service for AT&T customers with a Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone. Business Insider reports that availability will initially be limited to Austin, Texas, but the carrier is planning for 20 cities by the end of the year. While the service will be faster, the name is rather misleading because it won’t actually run on 5G (rather on LTE-U). Nevertheless, this faster and more efficient network will tie over the growing data demand among consumers as 5G capabilities still develop.

What news stories are on your minds this week? We’d love to hear what stories you’re dialing into.