Wireless data roaming is unavoidable unless you buy a local SIM card, but at the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Canada recently signed a pact to end cellular data roaming charges across the Americas by 2022.
Before you get too excited though, the agreement is non-binding, in other words just a verbal agreement on paper.
“Although non-binding, the Buenos Aires Declaration is perfectly aligned with our government’s vision,” said Karl Sasseville, spokesperson for the office of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, according to Global News.
The agreement to eliminate cellular data roaming fees within four years was signed by 19 countries throughout North, South, Central America and the Caribbean.
According to the Sasseville, “Minister Bains has been clear: Canadians deserve fair, affordable and quality telecommunications services. Canadians pay some of the highest rates among G7 countries. This has to change and our government will soon be announcing concrete measures to drive competition and affordability.?”
No specific plans or details were shared on just how exactly ISED will lower the cost of wireless services in Canada.
For now, roaming data is capped at $100 per billing cycle in Canada, and wireless carriers by law are required to notify customers when limits are reached. Extra data cannot be charged, unless customers grant authorization for overages to continue.
Will we actually see the government try to reduce wireless prices, and axe wireless data roaming altogether? It’ll be a tough sell, especially when Canada’s ‘Big 3’ profit off data overages and wireless data roaming.
The next Canadian federal election will take place next year, on October 21, 2019. Will we see the existing government start touting its plan to lower wireless prices?