Mexican operator Movistar (owned by Spain-based Telefónica) has announced that it will be extending its “Bye roaming” offer until 15 October for prepaid users. Launched last month, the offer removes additional roaming costs between Mexico and the U.S., allowing prepay users to make calls, send SMS or use data in both countries for MXN 0.85 (US $0.05) per minute, per SMS or per MB.
Movistar’s “roam like home” offer is clearly a reply to U.S. operator AT&T’s long-term plan to create a North American Mobile Service Area, in which service will cost the same on both sides of the border. AT&T’s plan goes in tandem with its massive expansion into the Mexican market, brought about by its acquisition of Iusacell and Nextel. Movistar and América Móvil are both feeling the challenge from the U.S.-based giant; dealing with U.S.-Mexico border issues is now a necessary part of meeting it.