Rogers announced a new program to reduce cross-border roaming rates on Friday.
The plan allows Rogers customers travelling to the United States to make phone calls, send text messages and use data for $5 a day.
“The phone thinks it’s in Canada, so everything that applies to being in Canada works,” Rogers president and CEO Guy Laurence said at a news conference.
The program allows for flat-fee access to your phone plan back in Canada. It costs $5 for each day you roam in the U.S. to a maximum of $50 per month.
“You opt in via text message. When you go to the U.S., you then, for each day you use your phone, you pay $5, and then you can access all of the minutes and texts and Internet allowances that you have back in Canada,” Laurence said.
The new program goes into effect on Monday.
Laurence explained that nearly eight-million Canadians travelling to the U.S. turn off their mobile device to avoid roaming charges – with two-thirds saying the high cost is a big deterrent.
“Every time I went to the U.S. it was so expensive that it didn’t make sense to use it, Bijan Shahrokhi, a technology entrepreneur in the mobile commerce industry said. “Now with this package, it seems more reasonable.”
Last year, Canadians took 56 million trips to the U.S.
“It’s the number one destination for Canadians outside of the country … It should all be about fun. It should be about taking pictures and sending them back home. It should be about accessing the Internet,” Laurence said.
Rogers customers need to have a Share Everything plan in order to get the new roaming rates.
Rogers worked out a “great deal with AT&T” to make the service happen, he added.
Laurence did not say whether the program would be extended to other countries.
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