Bell and Telus increase their roaming charges abroad

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Bell and Telus are increasing their roaming charges abroad

Using your cell phone or other mobile device abroad will cost you more, if you are a customer of Bell or Telus or their subsidiaries.

Two of Canada's largest cellphone providers, Bell and Telus, along with their subsidiaries Koodo and Virgin, are raising fees this month for customers who want to use their cellphones in the United States or elsewhere in the world. /p>

Starting March 8, Telus and Koodo will charge $14 per day in roaming charges in the US and $16 internationally, compared to $12 and $15 respectively at present.

For Bell and Virgin, roaming charges will drop on March 9 from $12 to $13 for the United States and $15-$16 internationally.

Rogers and its affiliates Chatr and Fido have not yet indicated plans to increase their rates. Currently, their roaming charges in the US are $12 and $15 internationally.

For its part, Videotron currently charges $10 per day for the United States and $14 for international, according to information posted on its website.

Bell tells CBC that cellular rates have come down over the past year as the bill demanded by its overseas partners has gone up, hence the rise in roaming charges. Telus has yet to respond.

Gerry Wall of Wall Communications says there are “relatively affordable” basic cellphone plans available in Canada.

He adds, however, that prices can climb quickly for add-ons and if you use your phone abroad. Suppliers know that Canadians are traveling more, he notes.

“Three or four years ago, the cost of the roaming of the big three [Bell, Rogers and Telus] in Canada and the United States were much lower.

—Gerry Wall, founder of Wall Communications

He expects roaming charges to continue to rise in coming years with the resurgence of foreign travel.

Competition analyst Keldon Bester, who founded the Canadian Anti- Monopoly Project says it's unclear whether Canadian phone companies should pay their international partners more for using their network, which would justify higher roaming charges. He notes that these agreements are secret.

Based on information provided by Pete Evans of CBC

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