The first of January, we told you that the Canadian Radio-television Commission (CRTC) came down hard on Rogers for what they called "unjust discrimination and undue preference" when it came to roaming charges. In their never-ending quest to lower customer's wireless bills, the CRTC hit the carriers hard about roaming charges. With Canada's terrain, boundaries and provinces – not to mention crossing in and out of the US – Canadian subscribers were hit with roaming charges from every angle.
Stringent rules were put into play and banned all Canadian carriers from adding any exclusivity clauses to domestic roaming agreements. Our source had received an internal document from Rogers concerning the introduction of "Extended Coverage" and that it would be taking effect in January or February… new internal documents will make Extended Coverage official on March 4. "Domestic roaming dramatically improves coverage coast-to-coast by opening up key regions." This new Extended Coverage will show up on your device as "Rogers – EXT," once connected. You simply turn roaming on your device and then use your smartphone like you do every other day.
The whole idea is to give customers a better experience when using their wireless mobile service. Handoffs between carriers should be what they call a 'soft handoff,' where the user doesn't even realize it is happening. There are some restrictions – according to the document, over 50-percent of your usage has to be on Rogers' own network. "Usage" to Rogers means combined voice, text and data. Rogers will give you three months, but if after that time period, if your usage exceeds 50-percent on a partnered network, then you would be blocked from further usage… or Extended Coverage. Once turned on, and you enter an area where extended coverage is available, you will see "Rogers-EXT" or "Fido-EXT" in the upper right-hand corner. The Rogers document last month 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."
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you will be taking advantage of the new Extended Plans. Rogers and Fido are the first carriers to announce the coverage, but other carriers will soon be joining the party.