T-Mobile International Plan for Unlocked iPhones?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PTVMan, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. PTVMan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    My wife and I are traveling to the UK next month and have unlocked iPhone 6's. Does T-Mobile offer a no-contract PAYG international plan (voice and text) that we can get prior to travel?
  2. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    DC USA
    T-Mobile US or T-Mobile UK? I'm assuming you meant TMUSA since you said before you travel.

    In that case, the answer is no. They do have Simple Choice plans with no contract that allow you to use international data for no additional charge (but data is limited to 128kbps), free SMS, and calls for $.20/min.

    But if you are going to buy a SIM and get a new number, you may as well just pick up a SIM while you are in the UK. For £10-15 you can get a PAYG SIM with 100 minutes and 1GB+ of data, and it will be high speed instead of capped to EDGE speeds. Just make sure to look up the location of a mobile store before you go, otherwise you'll end up spending $20 on international data to find one in the Maps app!

    I've used vodaphone, 3 UK and Orange before. 3 had the best tariffs and fastest speeds, but weakest network, just like T-Mobile USA, actually.
  3. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    If you're on T-Mobile postpaid then international texting and data are automatically free (data speeds limited to 128kbps). Voice I believe is $.40/min
  4. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Wow, that's not all that useful. That's only about a megabyte per minute, and even lighter weight web pages these days tend to be over a megabyte.
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Hey it's free. That's the important part.
    Other U.S. carriers will charge you $40-50 for 200mb of roaming international data plans.
  6. Chatter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2013
    Uphill from Downtown
    Meh. I actually used skype video on the free data though I was picking up 3G for free. The video was obviously jittery and froze a bit BUT it was free. Skype/Viber audio by itself was better. Texting for free was awesome though.
  7. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    I just came back from London literally toady. I am on the T-Mobile simple plan with international roaming. Tmobile roams on the UK carrier called 3. The data speeds are terrible. Basically only for email, and messaging apps. Browsing is slow and YouTube is even slower. I had a second unlocked smartphone with me which I used with a local sim from vectone mobile. The sim was free as I ordered it online before hand. My plan was 15 pounds for 500 min 3gb and unlimited text. Tmobile wifi calling was awesome. Free calls to and from the USA when on wifi. One thing, I lost the ability to send texts after 4 days. I could receive but not send. Cheers.
  8. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    DC USA
    It's enough to get by--emails and iMessages like the other poster commented, plus things like Uber that don't require high bandwidth. And, if you are willing to wait a little bit, enough to get a map of your local area, especially if you are in a city for a few days and have preloaded some of the map tiles already.

    It's also extremely helpful if you are visiting multiple countries in a short time, or have a long layover somewhere.

    T-Mobile also offers day and month passes for high-speed international data. IIRC, It's $10/day for 100MB or $20/mo for 200MB.

    I've been abroad several times with an iPhone. The first time, my phone was locked to AT&T. I occasionally broke my rule and activated data to check something. Horrible idea-rang up $50 in a heartbeat. The second time my phone was unlocked but on AT&T, and I ended up buying a new SIM in each country I went to. That was a waste because 80% of the data I bought I couldn't use in time, so the effective price/MB was high. The next time I was only in the UK and got a local SIM and that was awesome--I ended up with 1GB of data for a week for £10.

    The most recent two times I've been on T-Mobile and have just used the free international data. Turns out WiFi is so ubiquitous now that as long as you plan ahead and fetch the information you need before leaving the hotel, you can entertain yourself in the room with wifi and get by while you're on the road. No need to go find a SIM or get it activated. Yeah, you have to wait a few minutes now and then, but even if you add up that wait time, it's still not equal to the time spent going to find a SIM and activating it when you need to do that 2-3 times a trip.
  9. romeo.xk macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2009
    How easy is it to get a "Simple Choice Plan" just for one month if yo have an unlocked phone? Do they have activation fee? Minimum time before the international roaming kicks in?

    I might be traveling in April, and I am considering getting a T Mobile SIM card just to use when traveling abroad.
  10. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2009
    Might as well get a local SIM. Better pricing and much better data options. Unless your phone is locked then ignore this :)


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9 January 22, 2015