CRTC to Investigate Wireless Carrier Roaming Rates, Considers Regulation


The CRTC has distributed a letter to Canadian telcos to request all companies provide the commission with roaming agreements currently in place within Canada and the USA:

As part of the Commission’s mandate to ensure that Canadians have access to a world-class telecommunications system, it monitors developments in the telecommunications industry on an ongoing basis. Over the past year, the Commission has been made aware of concerns with respect to the rates, terms, and conditions associated with wireless roaming.

In response to these concerns, the Commission has conducted some wireless roaming research using publicly available information. At this time, the Commission requires additional information that is not publicly available and is now seeking information regarding the rates, terms and conditions from wireless operators offering roaming in Canada. The data requested will provide the Commission with information on wireless roaming in order to assess its impact on the competitiveness of the Canadian wireless industry and the choices available to Canadians.

All companies identified in the distribution list are to file responses to the questions set out in Appendix A with the Commission by 27 September 2013. These submissions must be received, not merely sent, by that date.


Original signed by:

Chris Seidl
Executive Director, Telecommunications

Chris Seidl, executive director of telecommunications told The Globe and Mail “We put a cap on bill shock for Canadians…But we didn’t address whether there’s an issue with the actual charges.” Approximately 18 million Canadians roaming in the USA spend an estimated $800 million per year on roaming charges.

Rogers told the Globe “We’ve received the commission’s request for information and are reviewing that request now,” a spokesperson said. “It’s worth noting that we’ve recently introduced new international roaming rates, including our new $7.95/day data roaming rate to the U.S.”

Carriers are also to provide a breakdown of total roaming revenue from 2007-2012, plus current Canadian and American roaming rates for voice, data and text messaging, all by September 27.


  • Hassen Cheikh

    It’s so sad that we sill pay roaming fee in Canada .look at usa and soon will be free roaming in Europe!!!

  • crosseyed_mofo

    pay roaming fees in canada? we dont

  • Hassen Cheikh

    what I meant is thatIf travel with my phone to another city and use voice calls I will be charge for ( domestic roaming )

  • Craig

    I think they mean long distance. Most have nationwide included in the plans. Canada has LD charges as soon as you call outside whatever “cell” you are in.

  • Al

    I saw a report a while back where data roaming (as well as cellphone & texting) is perhaps the biggest global collusion there is. All telecoms around the world set rates with each other for their customers. It’s basically a mutually agreed upon “money grab” that costs the telcos litterally almost nothing.

  • H Lim

    I think you misunderstood the meaning of Roaming. Roaming means using a different carrier’s network. If you keep using the same carrier in a different city, that’s not roaming. It is just a long distance charge.

  • I used Roam Mobility chips in the US in July and it worked great. Unlimited calls and texts with 3GBs of data. It’s a Vancouver based company that is doing a great job.

  • Chrome262

    Information about rates thats not publicly available, you mean there are hidden charges, shocking.

  • Chrome262

    yeah but wouldn’t it be nice not to have too, so people can reach you without knowing your other number. sure its great for data 4 or 3 bucks a day is better then Rogers.

  • einsteinbqat

    I believe that is true for the Big 3, but if you are with a regional wireless operator (Videotron, MTS, SaskTel, etc.), I suppose that national/domestic roaming fees could apply.

  • Chrome262

    kind of crappy we pay for that, remember when they use to have deals where NA used to be local calling area

  • H Lim

    You are right. Regional carriers charge roaming fees when you are away from their service area. But this is the same case in the US too. If you use Metro PCS and you go to Alaska, you will get charged for roaming fees. That’s whay I said he is confused with roaming and long distance.

  • prshan92

    18 million Canadians roaming in the USA will DEFINITELY switch to Verizon when they get here 🙂 we will finally be free to roam in the states with our Canadians numbers so SUCK ON THAT BIG 3

  • WatDah

    How do you even know…. Let’s not jump to conclusions.

  • SV650

    Cells are quite small. I believe you mean your Local Calling Area, which in most instances is far larger than the Local Calling Area for a landline, and FAR larger than a cell.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    CRTC won’t do a damn thing about this.

  • Ari

    Of course they won’t as long as Canada is filled with people with attitudes like yours. You should consider it your duty to remind the government, governmental agencies and civil servants who they work for. They work for us.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    You know SO MUCH about me based on one comment. Whatever….

  • The 6ee6

    amazing, finally the government is taking initiatives against these monopolous thieves

  • mcfilmmakers

    Wow, talk about making things up!

  • mcfilmmakers

    He said nothing about you and he’s right. This will do nothing about as much as the new guidelines did nothing or the rulings on UBB. Oh wait, those changed everything!

  • Steve

    You’re sure going to look like a real dumb-ass when they don’t offer “free” US roaming. LOL

  • 1His_Nibs1

    You and Ari assume too much. Last time I checked Ari has no idea what kind of “attitude” I have based on one sentence and neither do you. If by some miracle you & Ari DO know what kind of attitude I have then you both should hurry up to your local corner store and buy a lottery ticket pronto! Here’s an example of how useless and how nothing has changed when the CRTC get involved. When the National Do Not Call List was established I as well as many other Canadians finally thought there would be an end to annoying telemarketer calls. Alas it hasn’t stopped and here’s what the CRTC has done about it, and I quote “According to the Globe, as of March 1, 2010 the total value of fines the CRTC charged telemarketers for violating the law was $73,000. Amount collected is a measly $250.” As far as UBB I have no idea what that is or what it stands for. The CRTC haven’t announced they’re changing anything btw. All they’ve done is ask for information. Time will tell which one of us is right.

  • Chrome262

    he is basing it on some of the projected offerings. Its suspected that Verizon, if not lower prices to get more customers, then no roaming. That way they wouldn’t have to justify lower prices. Its the cheapest alternative for them.

  • mcfilmmakers

    I feel sorry for you then, really, I do. Ignorance isn’t bliss. Don’t let it be an excuse for your attitude.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Fuck off clown


    2 WEEKS left til the auction Verizon is only one that can take the
    BIG 3 break it in to small 3 they have no room to grow in the state any
    more they want NORTH AMERICAN MARKET


    MORE BUYING POWER (with Canadian dollar so low now at $94.85 Verizon
    DEPOSIT will increase more that more buying to them to bid for the 2
    block 700 MHz spectrum)

    will gain more subscribers both side border 50 million from (U.S SIDE)
    and 18 million on (Canadian side) both side of the will gain a lot for
    the price we pay now SPRINT AT&T and BIG 3 can’t match that

    3) FULLY UNLOCKED IPHONE (all of there iPhone comes fully unlocked with 2 year contract with them (excepted iPhone 4)

    with the big 3 after you sign up contract with them you can unlocked after 90 days (ROGERS $50 BELL $75 TELUS 35 VERIZON FREE)

    once there deal is done with Vodafone now they have full control there will mainly focus Canada the coming week

  • Ari

    Actually, I was one of those Canadians who believed that we could make a difference and lobbied our carriers, Apple and the CRTC to allow for iPhone unlocking in Canada.

    Had I and the others just resigned to defeat, we might still not have a legal right to unlock our iphones within contract or after contract expiry.

    I personally received a response from both the CRTC and the office of the president of Fido. The latter left a voice mail on my fido number at the time asking me to call them back with a number and internal extension to call back.

    I also encourage people on this site and other apple/mac related sites to do the same and when enough people took that risk, things changed.

  • Ari

    You have a terrible attitude. I would like to see you start believing in the power of the people. You could say that I indirectly work for the military industrial complex but I still believe that governments need to be held accountable by the people.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Then I applaud your actions sir.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    And that’s YOUR opinion.

  • mcfilmmakers

    We don’t need to know you to know your attitude. Your words define your attitude. We know your choice of words give in to an immature, rash, angry and judgmental attitude of ignorance. The problem, if you are so inclined to know, is that you make the judgement that the CRTC is useless and that this investigation will yield no results when you clearly have no idea about anything the CRTC has done during the past year and use that ignorance to continue an irrational opinion. To say you don’t know what UBB is, rather than look it up and enlighten yourself to the biggest telecom protest movement in Canadian history says A LOT about your attitude.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Get a life & don’t respond to me on here anymore. I’m done listening to your self righteousness!

  • Guest

    YOU asked what the problem is. I answered YOUR question. YOU are only further serving to prove both mine and Ari’s point. YOU are the troll, that’s what is wrong in all this. YOU are insulting people. YOU are asking more questions. YOU are ignoring the answers. YOU ask a question and qualify the answer as stalking! That’s what’s wrong! YOU are asking if I read all your comments from other posts. The answer is NO! YOU say you don’t care but YOU continue to respond. YOU don’t get what a message thread is; a thread is for EVERYONE to respond to regardless of who or what the subject is. YOU never previously stated that time will tell if the CRTC does anything. In fact, YOU said the opposite! Rhetorical questions don’t come in sets of three accusations, question marks, insults, and terrible attitude so spare me the lecture.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Then fuck off already & spare me yours!

  • anti-nibs

    Hey nibs, I can’t say that I know you but let me throw out a guess. You are a dick and a Douchebag rolled into an ugly little seething, frothing package of nasty. Ta-daaaa! I present Nibs!

  • Bill

    LOL!!! I agree, Verizon would be so much better!

  • Rob

    They won’t, if they did, the big three would be out of business!

  • Paul

    We know that Verizon now has no near future plans to come to Canada

  • Apple777

    But let’s see if something actually happens. Most likely all the fees will be hidden some other way. They just want to rip us off!

  • Fanboy0563

    Europe has the best smartphone prices and plans!