By Raquelle Collins
Bell announced Monday it is reducing the prices of its mobile data, voice and text roaming plans for Canadian customers by 50 per cent.
Approximately 18 million Canadians a year cross the U.S boarder, costing an estimated $800-million in roaming fees.
“Canadians also told us that they want to use their smartphones a lot when they travel, and they want the price to come down,” Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility, said in a statement.
Oosterman also said the U.S is the first place where costs have been lowered, and that the company is identifying other destinations and partners to further reduce international roaming costs.
Many customers complain about receiving expensive cellphone bills, said James Nickel, sales associate at T-Booth Wireless.
“Out-of-country plans are high in demand and expensive, and people often go over their coverage because of the limited amount of data and texts, which ends up costing them,” Nickel told Humber News.
“A lot of people buy unlocked phones and use another SIM card when they’re travelling internationally to avoid the headache of expensive fees.”
Evelyne Dufour, a student at Humber College, says she travels to the U.S. a lot and is more likely to take advantage of the cell phone plans.
“When I’m on vacation, I always feel stressed about being connected to Wi-Fi just to update my Facebook or text someone. Now that the plans are cheaper, I’m definitely going to consider getting one,” Dufour said to Humber News.
“We’re grateful that Canadians listened to us this summer, and we also listened to them. Canadians are using smartphones and mobile data like never before and want to use their phones more while travelling abroad,” Jason Laszlo, media relations for Bell Canada told Humber News.
“They asked for cheaper roaming rates, so we cut our most popular consumer rate plans by 50 per cent and started with the country Canadians travel to most, the USA,” Laszlo said.
Laszlo said that Bell plans to further reduce roaming rates for more than 200 other countries in the coming months.
The reduced rates are effective Tuesday and affect all Bell customers.