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

Farplaner Avatar
99 months ago
AT&T, please copy them, or I will be switching carrier to T-mobile next year when my contract runs out.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Diode Avatar
99 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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blue22 Avatar
99 months ago
magenta making it interesting...

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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
99 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...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jacquesass Avatar
99 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."
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BRO,RUMAD? Avatar
99 months ago
Congratulations T-Mobile. You just found yourself a future customer.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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