Sector watchdog the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) has published an update on its progress towards eliminating roaming charges for Chilean subscribers travelling in Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. Agreements to end roaming fees for users in Chile and Argentina have been signed by the countries’ respective governments and will take effect from 1 May 2020. For Brazil, the elimination of roaming charges has been included in a free trade agreement that will be submitted to parliament for consideration within the next few days. Subtel notes that Peru and Chile already have an Economic Complementation Agreement (Acuerdo de Complementacion Economico, ACE), however, and as such regulatory authorities in each country are working on the development of a protocol that complements the existing treaty. Finally, President Sebastian Pinera and his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque Marquez have expressed their intention to form an agreement to cooperate on technology and innovation which would include, amongst other measures, the end of roaming charges between the two countries.
Commenting on the plans, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Gloria Hutt said: ‘The elimination of roaming will mean an important benefit for users in different countries. It will boost tourism in the region by removing an important cost when planning trips. It will also promote commercial exchange between countries, facilitating the realisation of business. But it will also bring good news for the inhabitants of border areas – as in the case of Peru and Argentina – who historically have moved between countries to visit relatives, or for work or recreational reasons, facilitating their movement and allowing them to be constantly connected.’