Ottawa’s Price Caps on Domestic Roaming Rates Benefits WIND Mobile, Eastlink Customers [u]

Last week it was reported WIND Mobile was set to lower their domestic roaming rates, and today they have gone into effect.

The reason for the change is due to the Federal government’s recent interim caps on roaming rates, which went into effect on June 19, reports The Globe and Mail. The changes meant the ‘Big 3’ had to charge new wireless startups the same prices of what their retail customers would pay on average.

In an interview with the Globe, Simon Lockie, Wind’s chief regulatory officer, said the moment the domestic caps went into effect, the carrier has “been moving quickly to pass those savings on to customers.”

Lockie explained why WIND Mobile customers had been roaming on slower and older EDGE networks—cost. If 3G roaming was enabled, customers would have downloaded data too quickly which would have resulted in expensive domestic roaming bills, a result of the expensive roaming rates offered by the ‘Big 3’.

WIND Mobile lowered their domestic roaming data rates from $1/MB to $0.05/MB, starting today.

Eastlink Customers Also Benefitting from Lower Rates

Last month Halifax-based Eastlink announced they had signed on with a new roaming partner to extend their wireless overage in the region. With an existing roaming agreement in place with Rogers, Eastlink signed another deal with either Telus or Bell, but did not disclose their new partner.

Speaking with the Globe, Eastlink’s Dan MacDonald said since domestic roaming rates are most likely to change for the better thanks to Ottawa’s forthcoming rules, they were able to negotiate better terms.

While roaming rates offered to smaller wireless competitors from the ‘Big 3’ aren’t public, the CRTC noted in early August the following industry-wide roaming rates based on aggregate information collected over its review of the matter, as noted by the Globe:

  • 8.1 cents for every minute of voice calling
  • 1.1 cent for text messages
  • 3.7 cents for every MB of data.

Domesting roaming rates is one of the biggest factors for Quebecor, as the company looks for more favourable terms before it decides to launch a national wireless service based on its 700MHz wireless spectrum licenses.

Image via Videotron

Currently, WIND Mobile is offering a $35 back-to-school promo, also launching today, which should take into effect the company’s new roaming rates.

Update: WIND Mobile says unlocked cellphone customers, including iPhone users, can get up to $500 in credits for bringing their device over:

Customers who are interested in WIND Mobile are welcome to bring in their own compatible device, including the iPhone 5, 5C and 5S, for up to $500 in WIND Mobile credits.

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