If anyone wants proof of just how much we're still being ripped off on mobile phone roaming - once we venture outside the EU, of course - check out our sister publication Network World Canada.

It reports that Canadian cellular operator Telus is looking at switching from the obsolete North American CDMA spec to GSM. And that if it does so, analysts estimate that it could fund the shift - which is estimated to cost at least $500 million - in large part from additional roaming revenue.

OK, it's not just your ordinary roaming revenue - Vancouver is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, which should push roaming usage way above average. And at the moment, those fees all go to Canada's only GSM operator, Rogers Communications.

Mr Rogers is trying to kibosh the idea, saying he wouldn't let Telus customers roam onto his network. Without internal roaming, it's hard for North American operators to provide a national service. Telus will have to jump eventually though, as the North American networks all move to 3G.

Either way, it's a scary thought that one could rebuild almost an entire cellular network simply by charging travellers rip-off rates for using their cellphones.