C&W Communications has announced a new suite of roaming rates in support of an intra-Caricom agreement for lower charges.
C&W, the operator of Flow, Flow Business and C&W Business, said its new plans include “radically reduced rates that will see Caribbean nationals paying far less for inter-regional connections than ever before.”
“Flow is proud to make a concrete step towards answering the call of Caricom and its citizens to reduce mobile roaming charges in our region and the signing of the Declaration of St George’s is an excellent first step in establishing a tangible framework,” said Kurleigh Prescod, VP, C&W Communications, South Caribbean.
The agreement between Caricom, C&W and Digicel was signed in St George’s, Grenada on February 23.
“Flow has a long and proud history of providing reliable connections for the people of the Caribbean, and we are committed to working with all stakeholders to deliver greater opportunities and added value for our customers, and likewise, all those who communicate via our networks,” Prescod said in the release.
He said the company’s new roaming plans were simple and transparent and were developed to eliminate the shock of receiving an unexpectedly high bill.
“We are pleased to share that we have taken the first transformative step to provide our valued Caricom customers with significantly reduced roaming packages which deliver simple, consistent and transparent rates, an overall reduction in charges and the elimination of bill shock for our customers,” Prescod said.
The C&W release included remarks from Grenada prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell, the lead Caricom Head of Government with responsibility for science and technology. Mitchell said the declaration signals a period of extensive collaboration between Caricom and two of the major telecommunications operators within the region.
“Our citizens will be able to travel without the fear of incurring the normal exorbitant charges for voice and data usage as they conduct business or keep in touch with loved ones. We firmly believe that this critical reduction in roaming charges will help drive digital commerce, regional integration and economic development,” he said.
Mitchell said parties to the declaration have agreed on an implementation timeframe between the second and third quarter of this year, considering the technical aspects of the implementation and the public awareness campaigns that must take place.
The declaration will see the reduction in roaming charges in all Caricom countries and provide seamless mobile services, including voice, SMS, text messaging and data.
In releases last week, Digicel and TSTT said the initiative would benefit regional customers.
Digicel said the signing of the declaration was recognition of the global issue of unpredictable mobile roaming costs.
“Digicel remains strongly committed to working with the governments of Caricom to continue to invest in the critical telecom infrastructure to ensure governments, citizens and businesses have access to the highest levels of modern communication technologies,” said Digicel group government relations director Kieran Mulvey.
Mulvey was among other signatories including Mitchell and Prescod. Roaming costs could be reduced to as low as 70 per cent of current rates.
TSTT said the plan was aligned with its mandate to “enable more seamless, worry-free connectivity between Trinidad and Tobago and its Caricom neighbours.”
The company said it has contacted its roaming partners to re-negotiate rates, which will complement an already existing suite including free incoming calls, free roaming data and minutes on select postpaid plans, and a “roam like home” feature where data roaming is drawn from the customer’s local data bundle at no additional charge.