Mercosur decides to end international roaming



On July 17th, the Mercosur countries signed an agreement to stop charging international roaming in communications between member countries. The agreement was made during the 54th Mercosur Summit, which took place in Santa Fé, Argentina. The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro; the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri; the President of Paraguay, Mario Benítez; and the President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez all participated in this Summit.

“International roaming” is an additional charge levied from users utilizing international mobile phone services, being either voice or data, which are outside of their provider’s normal coverage area within their origin country. The objective of this agreement is to end these additional charges, so that when users are traveling within Mercosur member countries, they only have the usual costs already charged by their providers, as if they were in their home country.

The National Telecommunications Agency had already announced the agreement, which depicts the strengthening of the economic integration and digital aspects of the Mercosur countries and follows the example of the European Union, who ended roaming charges in 2017. The agreement must now go through Congressional approval, as well as the discussion of possible compensation to mobile phone providers, and then the agreement will enter into force.