By 29 August, roaming charges for mobile users in Argentina and Chile are to be abolished.
That’s the promise of an agreement first mooted more than two years ago and scheduled for last year – and then rescheduled for May this year. However, this time, according to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, the scrapping of roaming charges will actually go ahead.
Whether this will signal a wider attempt to promote regional roaming is an interesting question. Plans to eliminate roaming charges for Chilean subscribers travelling in Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia have been discussed for some time and are seen as potentially beneficial not just for end users – especially in border areas – but for businesses and the tourist industry.
Andean community (CAN) member states Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador had also been aiming for an agreement to end international roaming – in this case as early as mid-2019. Although that didn’t happen, international roaming rates in voice and data communications are now falling and the hope is that they can be abolished entirely by 1 January 2022 .
This trend is by no means limited to South America. As we recently reported, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), made up of Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic, plans to abolish roaming charges by the start of next year. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), meanwhile, agreed to remove roaming fees for its 15 members back in 2017.