With frequent breaks in coverage from major carriers, and many smaller operators offering regional-only service, Canadians who travel cross-country frequently can attest to the frustration of having to pay more to roam on another network.
But according to documents obtained by Mobile Syrup, the carriers themselves are planning to address the issue by forging new domestic roaming deals that will come into effect early this year.
Mobile Syrup’s sources indicate that Rogers and Fido have signed agreements with TELUS, Bell and Videotron that will increase roaming coverage on all carrier’s networks, and allow for a ‘soft handoff’ of calls when a customer crosses from one carrier’s network to another.
What this basically means is that there will (hopefully) be fewer dropped calls and service issues for customers traveling between coverage areas - and less roaming fees. So far, only Rogers documents have been sighted, but Mobile Syrup reports that the new agreements apply to all the aforementioned carriers.
Extended Coverage at no charge
Backlash against roaming fees has increased in the last twelve months, with the CRTC last year banning exclusivity clauses from domestic roaming agreements, and calling out Rogers for ‘unjust discrimination’ in negotiating agreements with smaller carriers.
Despite the criticism, Rogers has reportedly stated that it is ‘committed’ to improving the network experience of its customers by expanding roaming voice coverage – and best of all, the new Extended Coverage will be included in all Rogers plans, at no additional charge.
Although no set date is confirmed, reports suggest the agreement will begin at the end of this month or early February.