BUSINESS

Americans To Roam Free In Canada, Thanks To T-Mobile's Feisty CEO

07/09/2015 01:34 EDT | Updated 07/09/2015 02:59 EDT
JOHN MACDOUGALL via Getty Images
A Deutsche Telekom T-Mobile logo hangs under pink umbrellas at the stand of the German telecommunications giant at the 2014 CeBIT computer technology trade fair on March 10, 2014 in Hanover, central Germany. Great Britain is partner country of the fair considered as the world's biggest high-tech fair running from March 10 to 14, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Unlimited wireless plans have been slow to arrive in Canada, but now one group of telecom customers will be able to talk, text and surf the mobile web without incurring any additional charges in Canada.

Unfortunately, those lucky people are U.S. residents who are customers of T-Mobile. The U.S.’s third-largest wireless carrier announced Tuesday it’s bringing free roaming in Canada and Mexico to all its Simple Choice plan customers.

For the feisty CEO of T-Mobile U.S., John Legere, this is just part of a long and sometimes hostile public-relations fight with the other telecoms, one in which he is painting himself as an advocate for consumers. In a statement released Tuesday, Legere went directly after AT&T.

“After spending billions buying up Mexican telecoms, AT&T’s CEO is promising ‘the first seamless network covering Mexico and the U.S.,’ something ‘unique’ that ‘nobody else will be able to do for the consumer’,” Legere said.

“So much for that. They won’t be the first. And they won’t offer Canada for free.”

He’s been more aggressive than that, once asserting that his U.S. telecom competition are “high and mighty duopolists that are raping you for every penny you have. … The fuckers hate you.”

High roaming charges have been a complaint of Canadian telecom customers for years. The CRTC in May announced it would start regulating wholesale roaming rates, in the hopes that reducing the roaming fees telcos charge each other will bring them down for consumers as well.

Some wireless providers, particularly the big telcos’ flanker brands like Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile, as well as upstart carrier Wind Mobile, have begun offering unlimited talk or text as part of some plans. Some carriers also offer plans that include free roaming inside Canada.

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