“We are encouraged by milestones being recorded,” says Grenada PM Mitchell while signing agreement to reduce roaming charges

Along with the Prime Minister, the other signatories were Director of Government Affairs, Digicel Group - Mr Kieran Mulvey, and Vice President South Caribbean, Cable & Wireless Communications - Mr Kurleigh Prescod.

“We are encouraged by milestones being recorded,” says Grenada PM Mitchell while signing agreement to reduce roaming charges
“We are encouraged by milestones being recorded,” says Grenada PM Mitchell while signing agreement to reduce roaming charges

Grenada: On February 23, 2022, Grenada has signed an agreement to reduce the roaming charges within the CARICOM: The Caribbean Community. The agreement has been signed under the leadership of the Prime Minister of the country – Dr Keith Mitchell, who also serves as the Lead Head for Science and Technology in the CARICOM Quasi.

On Wednesday, the cabinet signed the Declaration of St. George’s, towards the ‘Reduction of Intra CARICOM Roaming Charges to Facilitate the CARICOM Single ICT Space and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

Along with the Prime Minister, the other signatories were Director of Government Affairs, Digicel Group – Mr Kieran Mulvey, and Vice President South Caribbean, Cable & Wireless Communications – Mr Kurleigh Prescod.

The importance of the declaration was recognised by PM Mitchell, who said that the progress had not been as fast as regional leaders would like, but he noted that this interim solution gives renewed impetus to the efforts to advance key aspects of the Single ICT Space.

PM mentioned, “We are encouraged by the milestone being recorded today as we sign The Declaration of St George’s – Towards the Reduction of Intra CARICOM Roaming Charges. However, our eyes are set firmly on the ultimate goal, which is to achieve the total elimination of roaming charges within CARICOM.”

Prime Minister further said, “This declaration essentially means that our citizens will have options to use their mobile phones as they move freely within the Single Space at reduced costs. The citizens will be able to travel without any fear of incurring the normal exorbitant charges for voice and data usage as they conduct business or keep in touch with loved ones.”

He repeatedly emphasised the need to keep moving towards the total elimination of roaming charges to ensure “predictability, transparency and affordability of mobile phone charges and to improve the experience of Caribbean nationals.”

Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley, in this regard, said, “Our goal is the elimination of roaming charges, plain and simple.”

“In Europe, they’ve done it, and the reality is, our citizens would like to roam as if they are home because they are at home in the Caribbean Community; that is our single domestic space,” she added.

Prime Minister Mottley characterised the reduction as a large step but still short of the destination to eliminate roaming totally. She said now that this journey has begun, there can be no turning back.

The representatives of Digicel and Cable and Wireless both underscored their companies’ commitment to the provisions of the declaration, which will see the implementation of new roaming models in 2022. Through the declaration, regional governments and telecommunications providers have also committed to continued collaboration in a number of areas, including advancing towards a more harmonised regulatory environment and improving the overall customer experience by promoting greater regional connectivity.

Other speakers at Wednesday’s signing included the Minister with responsibility for ICT in Grenada, Pamela Moses and Minister for Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Information Technology in Antigua and Barbuda, Melford Nicholas, who is also the President of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.