In wireless telecommunications, roaming is a general term referring to the extension of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered. Roaming ensures that the wireless device is kept connected to the network, without losing the connection.
The term "roaming" originates from the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) sphere; the term "roaming" can also be applied to the CDMA technology.
Traditional GSM Roaming is defined (cf. GSM Association Permanent Reference Document AA.39) as the ability for a cellular customer to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, including home data services, when travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home network, by means of using a visited network. This can be done by using a communication terminal or else just by using the subscriber identity in the visited network.
Roaming is technically supported by mobility management, authentication, authorization and billing procedures.