It’s safe to say that Bell doesn’t have a widely-available network in Manitoba. Along with TELUS, its cross-Canada network partner, the company covers the greater Winnipeg area, stretching to Brandon in the west and Selkirk in the southeast. That’s a good chunk of the population, but certainly nowhere near as comprehensive as MTS and Rogers, which entered into network sharing agreements in 2009 and 2013 to build out HSPA+ and LTE in the province respectively.
According to an internal document we received, Bell will soon allow its Manitoban customers to roam on Rogers’ network at no extra charge. In what appears to be an attempt to get ahead of government regulation on domestic roaming, Bell has reached an agreement with Rogers to allow occasional and fair use access to areas outside its own network for calls, texts, MMS and internet use. Long distance service will be possible, but only if the customer already has a bundle for it in their local service area. And, like all other long distance plans, once a user enters a new service area a call made to a number within it is local, while calling home becomes long distance. All incoming calls accepted within a roaming area count as long distance, too. (more…)