It looks as though mobile customers will be getting some relief from roaming charges when they travel, as both Digicel and LIME have announced in quick succession that they are cutting rates significantly, effective immediately.
In order to encourage their clients to keep their mobile phones activated when they roam, both companies are offering plans that drastically reduce data costs and voice calls.
Digicel was first out of the gate with its “Roam like you’re Home” launch on Oct. 1, allowing Digicel customers to “have the freedom to roam on any Digicel network across the Caribbean and Central America (excluding Guyana) and use their mobile device as if they were at home.” This service is automatically available to all prepaid and postpaid subscribers roaming on Digicel networks in these locations, and offers a data rate of 19 cents per megabyte with voice rates comparable to those charged for making calls from the Cayman Islands.
The company also states on its web site that it has “cancelled high roaming rates for USA.” Prepaid customers pay an introductory fee, 50 percent off the regular rate, of $7.50 to activate the service for seven days. Postpaid customers pay an introductory fee of $17.50 that activates the service for 30 days. While active, customers are charged 19 cents per megabyte for data, a significant difference from the $4.91 to $12.29 per megabyte rates, depending on the carrier, listed as standard roaming rates in the U.S. on Digicel Cayman’s site.
LIME is following suit, at least as far as roaming in the U.S. is concerned, on Nov. 1.
Bill McCabe, CEO of LIME Cayman Islands, said, “From Nov. 1, we introduce our new ‘MyRoaming’ plans which will bring the price down significantly and enable customers to roam without breaking the bank.
“Customers simply add a roaming base plan which costs just $19.95 per month. They can opt in or out depending on their travel schedule, so for months they don’t travel they don’t need to take the plan.”
Unlike the Digicel plans, LIME’s MyRoaming plans automatically renew each month until canceled by the customer. The base plan includes a bundle of roaming voice minutes and text messages plus a data allowance, but if customers feel they need a more robust package, they can add “bolt-ons”, allowing them to upgrade the base plan as necessary.
Data rates under these plans will be as low as 15 cents per megabyte, compared to $8.30 per megabyte standard roaming rates.
LIME presently only offers these savings for roaming in the U.S., but there are plans to add other popular destinations in the near future.
Another piece of good news for customers: when their MyRoaming plan is activated, there will be no charge for incoming calls. As stated in LIME’s press release: “LIME’s new plans are designed to encourage customers to turn on their smartphones when they travel, instead of leaving them at home for fear of large roaming bills.”