Bell Plans to Cut US Roaming Rates by 50% Starting Sept. 17

Bell announced this morning it will be reducing the rates on its US roaming plans by 50%, as what the company says is its continued focus on “lowering costs for customers” who use their phones outside of Canada.

“During the summer, Canadians told the federal government that they support wireless competition and strongly believe the wireless rules should be the same for all carriers, Canadian or international. But Canadians also told us that they want to use their smartphones a lot when they travel, and they want the price to come down. We heard you and today Bell is cutting in half the cost of mobile roaming where Canadians travel the most: the USA,” said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility. “We’re starting with the most popular destination, and Bell is committed to working with our global telecom partners to further reduce international roaming costs for our customers.”

Bell customers can sign up for a US travel plan prior to departing or also be automatically alerted via text message when they enter the US.

As for the plans which have been cut by 50%, they are listed below:

$25 US 30-day Travel Bundle
Formerly $50, the all-in-one $25 US Travel Bundle includes 50 Megabytes (MB) of Internet and other data, 50 anytime minutes for calls within the US or back to Canada, and unlimited incoming and 200 sent text messages. Additional data is 50 cents per MB, additional calling 25 cents per minute, and additional sent texts 15 cents per message.

$20 US 30-day Travel Add-ons
US Travel Add-ons give customers the option of taking just 1 or 2 mobile services and in large quantities. Formerly $40 each, the 3 US Travel Add-ons offer big buckets of data, voice or texting for just $20 each: 100 MB of data, or 100 minutes of voice calling, or unlimited incoming and sent texts. Extra usage is 20 cents per MB on the data plan and 20 cents per minute for voice calls.

Every year 18 million Canadians enter the US and annually spend an estimated $800 million in roaming fees, charged by carriers who have network agreements in place with local US carriers.

Back in May, Rogers began to offer a $7.99/50MB daily US roaming rate. Many Canadians have started to look for alternatives to US roaming instead of via their carrier, by jumping on cheaper rates via Vancouver-based Roam Mobility.

What do you think of these new rate plans?

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