Roaming: where it all began


1981/82 – Nordic Mobile Telephone network (NMT) launched for use by the general public in Scandinavia and Finland

Sep 1982 – First International Roaming Agreement was launched

NMT was an analogue system. In the early 1980s it was already evident that the future was digital – as digital technology could offer higher capacity and conversations could be encrypted


Roaming History: the introduction of GSM

1989 – The GSM Standard was ready

1991 – First GSM call is made in Finland

1992 – First international roaming agreement (GSM)      signed between Telecom Finland and   Vodafone UK, First SMS sent

1994 – GSM Phase 2 data/fax bearer services launched, more than 100 operators live GSM subscribers exceed one million


Roaming History: GSM industrialisation

1994 – GSM Phase 2 data/fax bearer services launched, more than 100 operators live, GSM subscribers exceed one million

1995 – Global GSM subscribers exceed 10 million

1996 – GSM networks goes live in Russia and China, Pre-paid GSM SIM Cards launched, 167 networks live in 94 countries, GSM subscribers hit 50 million

1999 – WAP trials begin in France and Italy

2000 – First commercial GPRS services launched

2001 – 3G license auctions commence, First GPRS handsets enter   the market, Five billion SMS messages sent in one month

2001 – First WCDMA network goes live, GSM subscribers exceed 500 million, colour screen launched

2002 – MMS goes live, worldwide have GSM networks, First mobile         camera phone launched

2003 – First EDGE networks go live

2004 – GSM surpasses 1 BILLION customers

2005 – Over one TRILLION SMS sent in the year


Looking at the general GSM history we see that international roaming is still a relatively “young” industry. First GSM roaming agreements was launched in 1992 and GPRS was not launched until year 2000…