Bell Slashes Roaming Rates by 50%

Major Canadian telecommunications company Bell announced today that it plans to lower the cost of some US roaming packages.

Bell is cutting the package prices by 50%. Now its 30-day Travel Bundle, which previously cost $50, will cost $25 as of tomorrow. It includes 50 minutes, 50 megabytes of data, 200 outgoing texts, unlimited incoming texts, and preferred roaming rates when going over those limits. Similarly, a $40 plan has been slashed to $20: it allows customers to choose between 100 megabytes of data, 100 minutes, or unlimited texting.

“During the summer, Canadians 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 US,” 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.”

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is cracking down on Canadian telcos’ exorbitant roaming fees, though Bell declined to mention the CRTC as a reason for lowering some of its rates.

“Canadians enjoy some of the most advanced mobile networks in the world. Our domestic pricing is comparable with developed countries worldwide, and generally lower than major US carriers,” added Oosterman. “But it was also very clear that Canadians are unhappy with how much it costs to use their phones a lot when they travel abroad.”

Up to 18 million Canadians cross the US border per year and spend a staggering $800 million annually in roaming fees, according to the CRTC.