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

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Original poster
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U.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.

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

jlgolson

Contributing Editor
Jun 2, 2011
379
4
Durango, CO
The full list of countries:

Aland Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mexico, Moldova, Montserrat, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Svalbard, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
This is a good step forward. Roaming charges abroad are utterly ridiculous, I've heard a lot of horror stories. Yes, you're still paying a bit of a fee, but it negates the worry that you'll wind up with a £1000 bill when you get back.
 

Gemütlichkeit

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2010
1,276
0
They're doing everything right except providing good speeds for paying customers. I like the path they're taking and hope AT&T/Verizon do something similar. I was just unimpressed when I was on their network for a few months.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,427
3,862
This potentially eliminates one compelling reason to buy an unlocked phone. Of course, you can still save on voice charges with a local SIM, but data charges were the main reason I bought unlocked phones and used local SIM cards while traveling. This could be a great way for T-Mobile to make a push for business customers.
 

blue22

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2010
505
18
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.
 

Diseal3

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
1,071
95
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.

Their domestic rates aren't exactly rock bottom so hopefully magenta continues to do what they do and ruffle feathers.
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,805
2,599
long island NY
They're doing everything right except providing good speeds for paying customers. I like the path they're taking and hope AT&T/Verizon do something similar. I was just unimpressed when I was on their network for a few months.

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

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,229
9,459
Florida, USA
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.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,229
9,459
Florida, USA
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!
 

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barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,140
1,929
Manhattan
This potentially eliminates one compelling reason to buy an unlocked phone. Of course, you can still save on voice charges with a local SIM, but data charges were the main reason I bought unlocked phones and used local SIM cards while traveling. This could be a great way for T-Mobile to make a push for business customers.

It's a great option for T-mobile subscribers. (It sounds like you have to a post paid customer due to the requirement about time spent in the U.S. -- but correct me if I'm wrong).

However, if you have an unlocked iPhone you can potentially get much faster data speeds, a higher data limit, and cheaper texting and calling if you just buy a local sim. 2G data speeds are almost useless on modern data hungry applications.
 

Col Ronson

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2008
619
2
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.

its most likely EDGE simply to cut down the # of MBs people will be using. Maybe if the plan works out for them, they'll expand it to 3G data.

I'm more excited about the free texting while overseas. 2G data will make iMessage usable too, so i have a means of staying in touch.

It may not be much now, but i take plenty of daytrips to canada all the time, it would be nice to have just enough data to get thru without having to buy a monthly pass from verizon/att or a local sim every time.

----------

It's a great option for T-mobile subscribers. (It sounds like you have to a post paid customer due to the requirement about time spent in the U.S. -- but correct me if I'm wrong).

However, if you have an unlocked iPhone you can potentially get much faster data speeds, a higher data limit, and cheaper texting and calling if you just buy a local sim. 2G data speeds are almost useless on modern data hungry applications.

Yup, but you'll also have to pay out of pocket. Granted i have an unlocked phone so ill probably do that, but for day trips the free option will do me well.
 

acarney

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2007
313
51
This potentially eliminates one compelling reason to buy an unlocked phone. Of course, you can still save on voice charges with a local SIM, but data charges were the main reason I bought unlocked phones and used local SIM cards while traveling. This could be a great way for T-Mobile to make a push for business customers.

How ironic now that you basically pay full retail (often for unlocked hardware, ie apple's unlocked phone shipping with a tmobile sim) now if you're a tmobile customer... This just gets you to keep your SIM card in the phone when you travel and if you get frustrated on edge maybe toss a day or week pass worth of income to tmobile, or hey, maybe you looked stuff up on edge and found a great place for dinner but want to call someone and explain directions (something that might be too long via text), now tmobile gets a few bucks for the voice minutes.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for stuff like this, but it's not them being "nice" to the customers, it's because most customers will soon just be able to pop in a local PAYG sim...
 

Farplaner

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2008
303
0
AT&T, please copy them, or I will be switching carrier to T-mobile next year when my contract runs out.
 

mikeheenan

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2007
303
5
Fantastic idea and a great step forward for us in the US. While edge is slow as heck, who wants to be on their phone constantly while out and about in a new country on vacation? Sounds perfect for using email and texting back home and possibly using gps for directions even.
 

madsci954

macrumors 68030
Oct 14, 2011
2,681
547
Ohio
And what happened next, the folks on the Internet say,
Stephenson and McAdam's jaws dropped through 3 floors that day.
 

WoodNUFC

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2009
618
36
A Library
I've been with T-Mobile for that last two months and have really had good coverage where I am (the 3G was refarmed so I can still use my 3GS.) I jumped at the opportunity to give them a shot after they announced their Un-Carrier platform.

I'm glad to see South Africa on the list above. I hope this saves me the trouble of dealing with Vodacom or MTN next time I'm visiting the in-laws.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,019
1,308
This is exciting, even if it's EDGE and if we can start using our phones on airplanes then :eek:

Shame I don't use T-Mobile because signal where I use my phone sucks, hope AT&T follows suit.

----------

Good move, but I am still waiting on WIFI calling for the iPhone! Come on Tmobile make it apple soon.

What? is called Facetime Audio, you can make the calls now.
 
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