"We heard you": Bell cutting rates on popular consumer US roaming plans by 50%

Bell committed to reducing the cost of international mobile roaming

MONTREAL, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell today announced it is reducing the prices of its most popular consumer rate plans for United States mobile data, voice and text roaming by 50%, part of the company's focus on lowering costs for customers who use their mobile phones while travelling outside Canada.

"During the summer, Canadians told the federal government that they support wireless competition and strongly believe the wireless rules should be the same for all carriers, Canadian or international. But Canadians also told us that they want to use their smartphones a lot when they travel, and they want the price to come down. We heard you and today Bell is cutting in half the cost of mobile roaming where Canadians travel the most: the USA," said Wade Oosterman, President of Bell Mobility. "We're starting with the most popular destination, and Bell is committed to working with our global telecom partners to further reduce international roaming costs for our customers."

Effective tomorrow, these US roaming cost reductions benefit both existing Bell customers and new customers. You can sign up before you travel, but Bell also texts customers who take their phones to the US to let them know they can easily sign up for a low-cost US travel plan while on the go. When traveling in the US, customers can choose the plans from Bell self serve on their smartphones or by calling 1-800-667-ROAM (7626). To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/Travel.

$25 US 30-day Travel Bundle
Formerly $50, the all-in-one $25 US Travel Bundle includes 50 Megabytes (MB) of Internet and other data, 50 anytime minutes for calls within the US or back to Canada, and unlimited incoming and 200 sent text messages. Additional data is 50 cents per MB, additional calling 25 cents per minute, and additional sent texts 15 cents per message.

$20 US 30-day Travel Add-ons
US Travel Add-ons give customers the option of taking just 1 or 2 mobile services and in large quantities. Formerly $40 each, the 3 US Travel Add-ons offer big buckets of data, voice or texting for just $20 each: 100 MB of data, or 100 minutes of voice calling, or unlimited incoming and sent texts. Extra usage is 20 cents per MB on the data plan and 20 cents per minute for voice calls.

"Canadians enjoy some of the most advanced mobile networks in the world. Our domestic pricing is comparable with developed countries worldwide, and generally lower than major US carriers. As a result, we see Canadians using smartphones and mobile data like never before," said Mr. Oosterman. "But it was also very clear that Canadians are unhappy with how much it costs to use their phones a lot when they travel abroad. We're grateful that Canadians listened to us this summer, and we also listened to you: You said cut the cost of roaming and we're making a big start."

Bell will work to reduce roaming costs further by renegotiating its agreements with international telecom suppliers, which enable mobile customers to use their phones to access the Internet, make voice calls or text in more than 200 countries.

Canada confirmed as a world leader in wireless
Two new studies highlight that Canada's combination of world-leading mobile networks and competitive pricing is driving exceptional mobile usage by Canadian consumers - especially when compared to the once-leading European mobile marketplace.

A report by The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary finds that Canada is a global leader in smartphone adoption and data usage due to significant investments in networks by Canadian carriers like Bell. "Canada leads its peer group in capital expenditures per subscriber in 2012 and over the period 2004-2012 capital intensity (capital expenditures as a share of revenues) was also high by world standards," said Jeffrey Church, co-author with fellow professor Andrew Wilkins of Wireless Competition in Canada: An Assessment. "And of course the heavy data usage and investment are related: Without the investment the heavy data usage would not be possible." The report is available at www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/publications.

Chicago's Navigant Economics compared Canadian and US networks with those in Europe, and found that North America outperforms Europe with higher levels of investment, network quality and customer usage. Available at Navigant.com/canada-mobile-report, the study found that Canadian carriers invest 2.3 times more per customer in networks than European carriers (and 21% more than the US), and Canadian mobile network speeds are 75% faster than the European average.

"North American mobile wireless consumers use their devices for both voice and data services far more intensively than those in the EU, and also enjoy faster, more capable wireless networks," said the report. "Canadian consumers use about twice as many voice minutes and twice as much data as those in the EU, resulting in lower unit prices than those paid by Europeans,"

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing consumers and business customers with leading TV, Internet, wireless, home phone and business communications solutions. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media. Bell is wholly owned by Montréal's BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). For more information, please visit Bell.ca.

The Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative is a national charitable program that promotes Canadian mental health across Canada with the Bell Let's Talk Day anti-stigma campaign and significant funding for community care, research and workplace best practices. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

SOURCE Bell Canada

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