After news that Peru and Ecuador have indicated that they support the proposal of the Andean Committee of High Telecommunications Authorities (CAATEL) to extend the elimination of international roaming costs in the Andean region to the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, who – or where – will be next?
Already, as we have reported, roaming charges for mobile communications have become a thing of the past for the countries of the Andean Community – the CAN countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. This happened on 1 January this year.
Now, however, the CAN countries are considering extending free roaming. If a consensus is reached among the CAN countries, the proposal will be presented in February at the meeting of the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (CITEL).
This isn’t a completely unexpected development. At local level, a number of agreements are already in force, notably bilateral agreements to eliminate roaming charges between Brazil and Chile, agreed last week. Chile hopes to extend this sort of deal to Argentina and Peru, while Peru is reportedly working on similar agreements with Brazil.
In addition the Mercosur member countries, 19 nations from North, South and Central America and the Caribbean, are said to be working towards eliminating roaming fees in the region in the longer term.
There are also a number of initiatives in place from mobile operators in Latin America that include international roaming at no additional charge.