My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Digicel to eliminate Roaming Charges by Tuesday October 2013 - Minister Paulwell Negotiates with LIME for US Calls free of Roaming, proving Everything is Possible

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Digicel to eliminate Roaming Charges by Tuesday October 2013 - Minister Paulwell Negotiates with LIME for US Calls free of Roaming, proving Everything is Possible

“After some negotiation, Digicel has agreed as of October 1, 2013, on the abolition of voice roaming on Digicel's Network in Caricom countries. Each travelling subscriber will be treated as if he is using his local/domestic Digicel Network throughout the region and therefore will be billed accordingly”

Excerpt from the announcement by Minister Phillip Paulwell on Wednesday August 14ht 2013 at the CTU (Caribbean Telecommunications Union) International Telecommunications Caribbean Ministerial Forum on ICT in Port of Spain, Trinidad

Interesting development from Telecom Provider Digicel. They almost went overlooked as it was overshadowed by Telecom Provider LIME new JA$300 30-Day Data Plans and free Alcatel On Touch T’Pop as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME Jamaica introduces 30-day Data Plans for JA$300 and a free Alcatel One Touch T'Pop - How the Butler started the Smartphone Data Revolution

Telecom Provider Digicel now decided to lower the Roaming Calling Rate by Tuesday October 1st 2013 making Calls to CARICOM (Caribbean Community) the same rate as Local Calling on their Digicel Network. This as stated in the GOJ’s mouthpiece The Jamaica Information Service in the article “Digicel Roaming Charges to be Abolished in Caribbean”, published Friday, 09 August 2013 12:14 by Olivia Leigh Campbell, The Jamaica Information Service

This incredible feat was achieved by Minister of Science Technology Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell, via negotiations with Telecom Provider Digicel. Minister Paulwell, who is also President of the CTU (Caribbean Telecommunications Union), is also in negotiations with Telecom Provider LIME for them to abolish the Roaming Rates for CARICOM.

But even more surprising and what may be a treat and really welcome news for many travelers is that Minister Paulwell aims to abolish Roaming on BOTH Telecom Providers, and ….wait for it…. Roaming for BOTH Voice and Data Service by the end of 2013! This as hinted in the article “Digicel to abolish US, Caricom roaming charges”, published Friday, August 09, 2013, The Jamaica Observer.

If you are reading this and you are still standing or not shocked, you may not realize what this means. Effectively, it means that if you are a traveler from the US to Jamaica or vice versa, you no longer have to pay Roaming Charges. Also Calls will be billed at the same rate as regular local On-Net or Cross Network Calls, effectively JA$2.99 per minute.

Aside from benefits to Traveling Jamaicans, it also benefits Americans wanting to come to Jamaica, as it means that you can now come to Jamaica and now worry about expensive charges while Roaming on Telecom Provider Digicel or Telecom Provider LIME’s Networks both for Voice and Data Service. You’ll be treated just like a normal Telecom Provider Digicel or Telecom Provider LIME customer.

I suspect the Telecom Provider Digicel has agreed to it as many people who travel simply don’t Roam. They just carry either an unlocked Quad-Band smartphone or Modem or they just buy one from Either Telecom Provider. Worse some may even travel with a FemtoCell or AttoCell, which is a mini Mobile Base station powered by the hotel’s Broadband Internet as explained in my blog article entitled “When in Roam (ing) carry a attocell - SnapDragon and The Tourist”..

They might just simply use Skype or Google Voice via their Hotel’s or Friends Wi-Fi, making the Roaming charges set up lying unused and thus another remnant Service like sending Telegraph, which C&W, now Telecom Provider LIME, shuttered in January 31, 2004 as stated in the article “Telephone price war: remembering the telegraph”, Published Wednesday July 24, 2013 By Martin Henry, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This is yet another milestone that paves the way for True Flat Rate Calling both for On-Net, Cross Network and International Calling. With MNP (Mobile Number Portability) coming by May 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “LIME drops JA$2.99 Talk EZ to All Networks as Digicel promises something Bigger - Telecom Providers can bring The Heat via lower Priced Smartphones to spur 3G Data and Postpaid Plans”, True telecom Sector Liberalization would have been partially achieved.

By 2014 the following are also expected:

  1. Cable Service Liberalization, as currently Triple Play Provider FLOW is a monopoly
  2. Satellite Broadband Services, which currently doesn’t exist
  3. FTTH (Fiber to the House) Services
  4. DSO (Digital switch Over) to DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “The Future of Free-to-Air Broadcasters in Jamaica as Digital Switch Over Approaches in 2015 
With this announcement of Roaming charges to be abolished on both Telecom Provider LIME and Telecom Provider Digicel, Everything is Possible!

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