End of mobile roaming charges draws near in Brazil

Senate bill attempts to make mobile phone calls cheaper to consumers

Roaming charges for mobile phone calls between different operators that are currently applicable in Brazil appear to be getting closer to an end.

A bill presented by Brazilian senator Walter Pinheiro extinguishes the additional surcharges for calls received and made between operators outside the geographical coverage area of the home network.

The proposed legislation has been approved by the Infrastructure Services Commission of the Brazilian Senate and will now be examined by the Lower House of the National Congress.

Senator Pinheiro stressed that the elimination of the roaming charges in Brazil follows the global debate around the simplification and reduction of mobile tariffs.

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"This project is one of the contributions of the Legislative branch to make calls cheaper to consumers, Brazil has one of the world's most expensive mobile rates, especially when it comes to the layer of the population that uses mobile phones the most," Pinheiro says.

"In order to make mobile phone calls cheaper, we are winning the battle step by step, with proposals such as the one that has been approved," he adds.

Brazil currently has more than 270 million active mobile phone lines, of which 80 percent are prepaid. A study by the International Union of Telecommunications (UIT) has shown that mobile rates in Brazil can be three times more expensive than in the United States and up to five times more costly than in Spain.

The European Union has reached a provisional deal to abolish mobile roaming surcharges across the 28 member states by mid-2017.