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U.S. Carrier T-Mobile Offering Unlimited International Texting and 2G Data in 100 Countries

NewImageU.S. carrier T-Mobile today is announcing a new addition to its "UnCarrier" smartphone plans, adding unlimited texting and 2G data roaming in 100 countries, as well as voice calls from those countries at 20 cents per minute, reports AllThingsD.

Data speeds will be slow, but likely adequate for basic email and perhaps even for mapping and navigation apps. Users will be able to purchase increased data speeds, with speeds reverting to the slower, free option once they have run out. Passes are available for one day and 100MB for $15, one week at 200MB for $25, or two weeks and 500MB for $50.

The new program does require customers to return to the U.S. at least once every six weeks, and six weeks out of every three months must be spent stateside. The program rolls out to postpaid customers on October 31st.

The company also introduced a new plan for customers who call internationally, offering $0.20 per minute calls to many countries, including when dialing a mobile phone. Landline calls are free to 70 countries, while free texting to 200 countries is also included, for $10 per month.
The fear of high charges often prompts customers to leave their phones at home, keep them in airplane mode or turn off cellular data when traveling overseas.

“There’s just so many pieces of data that suggest to us this is a huge issue and pain point but also a huge opportunity,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in an interview, noting that Americans take 55 million international trips per year. However, he said 40 percent of customers turn off their phones to avoid high charges, while many others get stuck with high bills when they return.

T-Mobile launched a new phone purchase program earlier this year in an attempt to differentiate itself from other carriers, allowing customers to purchase phones for a moderate down payment and then pay monthly fees until the phone is paid for. After that, the owner's monthly bill drops.

In July, T-Mobile introduced 'Jump', a phone upgrade program that allows customers to upgrade phones as frequently as once every 6 months.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 13 months ago
AT&T, please copy them, or I will be switching carrier to T-mobile next year when my contract runs out.
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
Great move by T-Mobile USA. Eventually this will force AT&T and Verizon to get more competitive with their [criminally-priced] international data roaming rates.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

"There's just so many pieces of data that suggest to us this is a huge issue and pain point."

Translation: "This is one of the ways that ATT and Verizon f#$% you."
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
As someone who just got back from several weeks abroad in various countries and bit the bullet and paid AT&T $120 for 800mb - I'd have killed for this.

I looked into local sims - but when your visiting multiple countries for only a few days each they quickly become not worth it.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
whoa, awesome move
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

What the hell is 2G? Edge or whatever was before that 10 years ago?

As best we can tell (TMo is being cagey) it's EDGE.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
This is the beginning of the end for ridiculous international roaming charges. A bright line moment in the evolution to a completely mobile telephony society. Good on TMO for throwing the first volley. Incidentally, they were also the first one to start to bring sanity to this area in the enterprise a few years ago. But since they're not one of the big players on the enterprise side people didn't notice it.

Hey AT&T: Tell us again why your takeover and consumption of T-Mobile would have been a good thing for consumers?

Now, if we would have only been able to convince the government to prevent the Comcast/NBC merger...
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
How long will T-Mobile be able to provide this, though? 2G coverage is going to be sunsetted or seriously degraded soon in many countries, as carriers want to reclaim the spectrum to deploy HSPA and LTE technologies.

The international roaming experience is going to be crap when you have all the tourists fighting for a tiny handful of EDGE channels.

Sure, it's free, but doesn't seem sustainable long-term.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

I wish but doubt it. Att/Verizon have only been making their plans worse over the past 5 years.

T-Mobile has improved significantly lately.

Hell, check this out; this was on my mother's phone on MetroPCS, which is a T-Mobile MVNO. It's not even their primary brand and performance was excellent!
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 12 months ago

One of the hardest things arriving internationally is having just enough data to get oriented (maps to hotels, etc.) without getting killed by AT&T or Verizon.

And just enough data to guide you to a place that sells SIM cards so you can get real 3/4G data.

buy the navigon app since it downloads maps locally. no need for a cellular signal
Rating: 1 Votes

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