Rogers Communications Inc. is offering its Canadian customers cheaper rates for phone calls, text messages and Web browsing while they travel to the U.S., after adding fewer subscribers than analysts estimated last quarter.
The "Roam Like Home" plans from Canada's largest wireless carrier will cost $5 ($4.40 U.S.) a day and will be available starting Nov. 10, the company said today in a statement. Rogers is also capping monthly roaming charges at $50 a month.
"Canadians have told us loud and clear that they're afraid to use their mobile phones when traveling to the U.S.," Rogers Chief Executive Officer Guy Laurence said in the statement. "So we've developed a new technology that lets our customers access their Canadian wireless plans while they're in the U.S."
Rogers only added about 17,000 wireless contract customers last quarter, less than half that amount that analysts had estimated on average. That contributed to the company missing analysts' third-quarter profit estimates and guiding to the low end of its 2014 forecast.
Laurence, in his first year as CEO, has pulled back spending on promotions and price cuts as he re-orients the company to focus on customer service and higher-value users. He joined Rogers in December after previously running Vodafone Group Plc's U.K. business, where he negotiated topics such as roaming. The Canadian government has also been working to lower roaming charges across the country.
Last year, Rogers was the first Canadian carrier to offer roaming via a long-term evolution network for its wireless customers traveling to the U.S. The company started that offering in partnership with AT&T Inc. in September 2013, charging customers $7.99 a day.
The new roaming rates announced today are an extension of the deal with AT&T, Laurence said at a press conference in Toronto.