AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by LuAnn LaSalle, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 16, 2013 8:34 am MDT Bell cutting price of U.S. roaming package; CRTC to look at roaming rates MONTREAL – Bell Canada says it’s cutting roaming rates in half for mobile phone customers travelling in the United States starting Tuesday in response to consumer feedback.The move comes just weeks before the Sept. 27 deadline set by the CRTC for telecom companies to submit their roaming fee rates and how much they pay other carriers for roaming agreements.Analyst Eamon Hoey said the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is now much more focused on consumers and Bell’s lower roaming rates are to “blunt” the argument from consumers that rates are too high.“The value proposition being offered to consumers is not commensurate with what we see internationally,” said Hoey, of Toronto-based Hoey Associates Management Consultants Inc.The European Union is proposing that all roaming charges be eliminated across the 28-nation bloc by 2016.The CRTC’s new wireless code, which will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other mobile devices starting on Dec. 2, requires roaming charges be capped to prevent bill shock.The rules require a wireless provider to suspend national and international data roaming charges once they reach $100 within a monthly billing cycle, unless the customer has agreed to pay additional charges.Bell cut its 30-day U.S. travel bundle, which used to cost $50 in half. Its add-on package for heavy users will be priced at $20, down from $40.“During the summer…Canadians also told us that they want to use their smartphones a lot when they travel, and they want the price to come down,” Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility, said in a statement.Rogers spokeswoman Patricia Trott said the company has already launched a flat U.S. daily rate and Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said its rates have been consistently lower than its competitors.“It’s a hotly competitive market,” Hall said. read more

“Mellit is known for the peaceful coexistence between all tribes. I hope that this reputation will continue well into the future,” said UNAMID’s Head of Office for North Darfur, Hassan Gibril, who led the Mission’s delegation in the talks with community leaders on Tuesday.Disagreements between members of the Ziyadiah and Berti tribes emerged on 15 August, and resulted in violent clashes in which shops were looted and destroyed in Mellit’s main market area. The violence resulted in the deaths of six people and injuries to 12 others.According to an UNAMID news release, Mr. Gibril said he was deeply concerned by the tragic events and offered the Mission’s assistance in mediation and inter-tribal reconciliation activities. “We want to learn from what happened to prevent such incidents in the future,” he said.During the meeting with the UNAMID delegation, the local chief of the Abassi camp for internally displaced persons, Adam Abdurahim Kharif, said that residents fear attacks similar to the one that happened in the Kassab camp, which earlier this month was surrounded by armed men who looted its market and burnt down the police post located within, killing four people. The security and humanitarian situations in the camp have deteriorated since then, according to the Mission.Mr. Kharuf also asked for more protection from UNAMID to prevent similar events from occurring in Mellit.The Mission noted that Mellit’s local commissioner said that the events last week were a series of isolated incidents that have been resolved through goodwill, while the deputy leader of the Ziyadiah tribe said that members of the community moved quickly to contain the situation and now are working together to find a peaceful remedy. The leader of the Berti tribe said that, in general, the culture of the area values peace and the people are not troublemakers.Deployed at the beginning of 2008, UNAMID is tasked with protecting civilians, promoting an inclusive peace process and helping ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance across Darfur, an arid region on Sudan’s western flank. read more