Canada and roaming charges seem to go hand-in-hand – the terrain and metro areas make national coverage, as we have here in the US, by one carrier very difficult. Add to that the fact that the US and Canadian border makes for lots of travel between the two countries and you have many breaks in coverage and that is a recipe for roaming charges piling up. Reducing these costs has been on the front burner of the government's agenda for over a year. The CRTC came down hard on Rogers for what they called "unjust discrimination and undue preference" when it came to its roaming agreements with smaller carriers.
The CRTC set stringent rules and banned all Canadian carriers from adding exclusivity clauses to any domestic roaming agreement – "exclusivity clauses in current wholesale roaming agreements between Canadian carriers are therefore rendered inapplicable as of the date of this decision." Our source received an internal document from Rogers concerning the introduction of "Extended Coverage" by the end of January or early February. While these documents refer to Rogers, but believe that all carriers will be following this policy.
Domestic roaming deals are already in place between Rogers, Fido, Bell, TELUS, and Videotron. These deals should help handoffs of calls as a caller travels from one area to another partner's area – the main concern is that the caller does not even realize what is happening. The Rogers document said that, "We are committed to bringing the best possible network experience to our customers. To let customers use their devices in locations they couldn't before, we are partnering with other network providers to offer Extended Coverage at no additional charge."
We need to get more details from other carriers to determine exactly how this Extended Coverage will work among all of them…Rogers is claiming that they are partnering with other carriers to offer it at "no additional charge." If you are on Rogers or Fido's network, you will see the words 'Rogers-EXT' in your notification area (see below). This could be one of the best Christmas gifts Canadians could receive, especially for those that travel out of their main coverage area. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you rack up the roaming charges on your monthly bill…as always, we would love to hear from you.