AirTouch Cellular to Drop Roaming Charges

AirTouch Cellular unveiled mobile-phone rate plans that eliminate roaming charges in many areas of the U.S., making the per-minute base rate the same for customers whether they are traveling or making calls close to home. Charges for long-distance and toll calls will still apply. The move follows a trend toward substantially reducing the price of making mobile calls while traveling. The new National Home Rate plans take effect Thursday and are available to customers with either digital or analog phones, unlike recently announced plans by AT&T; Corp. and Bell Atlantic Mobile. San Francisco-based AirTouch also expanded its local calling area, which will allow customers to use their allotted free minutes or pay their standard home rate when making or receiving calls in the seven-county Southern California region, from San Louis Obispo to the Mexican border and into the deserts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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