T-Mobile to offer free data roaming and texts in 100 countries

By Bla1ze on 9 Oct 2013 08:06 pm EDT

T-Mobile is taking their 'UNCarrier' efforts one step further today by going from having one of the expensive international roaming plan offerings to the cheapest, instantly. Rolling out on October 31st and dubbed phase three of their UNCarrier offerings, T-Mobile customers with a new Simple Choice plan will be able to take their device to any of the over 100 "Simple Global" countries around the world without incurring hefty roaming charges they've been used to previously.

"The cost of staying connected across borders is completely crazy," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US, Inc. "Today's phones are designed to work around the world, but we're forced to pay insanely inflated international connectivity fees to actually use them. You can't leave the country without coming home to bill shock. So we're making the world your network - at no extra cost." "It doesn't have to be this way," Legere said. "The truth is that the industry's been charging huge fees for data roaming. But what's most surprising is that no one's called them out - until now."

Additionally, T-Mobile is also making it easier for folks in the U.S. to keep in touch with friends and family internationally. The new "Stateside International Talk & Text" feature will cost $10 per month for Simple Choice customers and offer discounted calls and texts from the U.S. to all Simple Global countries. You will never pay more than $0.20 per minute to any number in any Simple Global country, unlimited texting is included and calls to landlines in more than 70 countries will be unlimited at no additional cost.

The services aren't without some caveats though. You're not going to be getting free LTE data while on your trips and of course, T-Mobile does not expect anyone to run a T-Mobile account while living in say Canada. The services will be set at around 128kbps, which should be fine for normal activities but you're not going to want to stream movies at this level. T-Mobile will however offer plans for upgradeable speeds should you really need them. Need more info? Hit the source link for the full press release.

Topics: T-Mobile Carriers

Reader comments

T-Mobile to offer free data roaming and texts in 100 countries


TMO Sux and that's a fact. VZW service is superior and customer services is the worst. Good thing I fox all my own tech issues.

Zed 10 - In your face VZW

Love taking the FIRST so they can put it but I just fails as I put it. Damn it.

Zed 10 - In your face VZW

It great in Illinois where I live too. I love how you say it's a fact. Yes VZW has more coverage. That is a fact. TMO Sux is in fact not a fact. See what I did there?

T-Mobile is great in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Not sure where you are, but in this neck of the woods, you can hardly do better.

Carrier 'sucking' is only relevant by location... T-Mobile may very well suck terribly in your area but I have no issues with T-Mobile at all. Always have LTE and $30 for unlimited data and texts with 100 voice mins I'll never use. T-Mobile is great.

+1 ...Never had a problem with Tmo.. LTE coverage is perfect and better than some of my att subscriber friends ...

Plus this great news as I travel out of the country frequently...Good job T-Mobile

Posted via Z10 | BB10.2~1743

I object, it is also about customer service thats important. Piss me off and I would not even care to go back, because you can find other great deals with other carriers

@ Bla1ze. Can you use the hotspot feature with that plan?
I usually use the $2 or$3 per day plan, but hotspot doesn't work with that.

I have a similar plan on T-Mob NL. I really hope they will bring this overseas. Mobile data plans in NL are very overpriced, I pay almost $55 for the same plan you have (unlimited data, slightly more minutes), and I'm on an old plan too. New users can not get unlimited data anymore over here (only with severely lowered speeds).
And we do not even have 4G here, will not be implemented until '14/'15.

This exactly. If you live in most metropolitan areas, TMO's service is pretty good. In NYC, I hear it's even better than AT&T's.

Really, I live in NYC and I don't feel I get the best of service, there's a lot of places I go to where its just dead. The best has to be I went to a Mets game this season and Tmobile was sponsoring the AllStar game at Citifield, but guess what I had no service... Irony.

TMP Sux? You should come to Canada and see how carreirs leach on you. Carriers in Canada collude, yet no one says anything and when there is any hope of foreign competition coming, our carreirs raise their national flag and fend off any compeitition under the disguise of national pride. All the carriers in Canada reduced their data plan to 250 MB for $70 on a two year contract at the same time. How is that possible without collusion? Businesse can get away with a lot in Canada. Enjoy your compeition in the states.

All the carriers in Canada reduced their data plans to $70 for 250mb?? I'm with Virgin Mobile in Canada and have unlimited Canada-wide calls, unlimited sms/mms (US + International too) and 2gb data for $60/month.

Posted via CB10 on my sexy Q10

Must be nice...just looked up Virgin Mobile Canada's plans, exactly as described...$70/month gets only 250 Mb data.


Please it's the same network, hell they work out of the same building. Koodo is just Telus in cheaper clothing. Just as Fido is rogers on a leash. Why are you paying top dollar for something you can get for a better value?

As for device pricing, yes they are higher. The value comes in with the services.

On Kodoo you also pay very high charges for phones. $350 for Z10 on a two year tab. Fido (Rogers), Virgin Mobile (Bell), and Kodoo (Telus) are basically for pay as you go customers and charge much higher for the phones. No matter which way you want to slice it, carriers have it their way in Canada.

I've been a postpaid Koodo customer for quite a while (years). When I started the cheapest plan was 15$ a month and prepaid only came about last year.

Actually their prepaid has some advantages (boosters that don't expire) , bit doesn't fit into what I need.

You want prepaid goto pc mobile or speakout

Koodo is far from.just pay as you go in my.not so.humble opinion. But if you want to waste cash for the privilege of saying you're on robellus, be my guest.

I'm switching my family plan from Sprint after my wife's phone is off contact. I support TMO in its efforts to change. Even if they are doing this because they are trying to turn around the company.

You should sit down and figure out the math to see if it's really worth waiting for your wife's phone to be out of contract. It may very well be cheaper to just pay her ETF, which may very well be substantially prorated if not that much time is left. Family plans under TMO are where you really see the savings. Also, you can sell all of your Sprint phones on ebay and use that towards your bill.

Good call, Raino.

I suspect that even with the ETF, it's still much cheaper to just make the switch. Another thing to keep in mind is that T-Mobile also offers corporate discounts on their plans, even though you're not under contract. This could save you 10-15% off your monthly plan charges. As long as one of the authorized users on your line is eligible for a discount, it covers all lines (ie. Main account holder may not work for a company on the discount list but a child 18 or over may either work or attend a college that has a discount).

Wow, I didn't know that AUs could qualify for discounts too. Always thought only the primary could get it. This will help out someone I know, thanks!

Gosh you were so happy you did not finish reading
Here i copied for you...Need more info? Hit the source link for the full press release.

T mobile works great here in Seattle. Since they've rolled out LTE, I've had it almost everywhere I go. The only place I don't have reception is in my room lol but its in a basement and none of my friends with other carriers have reception there either, but wifi calling should be on official 10.2 I know it's already out but I'm not going to downgrade from leak just for wifi calling.

Posted via CB10

It's already available on 10.1. Are you sure you got the OS update they released about a month ago?

Edit: Nvm. I see what you're saying.

I'm a trucker and use TMO prepaid. I was skeptical about going from AT&T to TMO hit haven't looked back. Best decision ever. And who can beat 2$ a day. Monthly service runs me 40$ a month. It'd be great if they extended the texting to prepaid as well.

wow the best just got better. i won't have to use another number when i go out again woooohhhoooo

Tmobile's changes have made them compelling enough that I will be switching ... as soon as they get the Z30.

I do wish that they would do a better job of upgrading their data coverage in my area but the prices, convenience and transparency are too good to pass up. ... as soon as they get the Z30 :)

Truth. T-Mobile delivers just as good voice and LTE, and for $35 cheaper than AT&T here. And when out in the desert, I just roam on AT&T's network for no extra charge. You can not beat it. Plus T-Mobile customer service is excellent.

Now THIS is something the other carriers should copy, and open the wireless market for international roaming floods if deals

I use a BlackBerry because it makes sense

Tmobile is great I have 4g lte in my area in Michigan, we're close to Canada and cross over often so this will definitely save me a couple of $ when crossing over. I guess if u travel often across the US Verizon might be the way to go but for the money u pay with them and att I don't think is worth it.

Posted via CB10

T-Mobile is great in eastern Massachusetts. I have LTE services but keep my phone locked to 4G which is good enough for me. When I'm at work on the other hand I switch back to LTE because for some reason it's has a max signal strength there.

Posted via CB10

I get service throughout the mbta here un Boston while my friends complain that they have no service at all

This is HUGE! Wow... maybe it will finally change the way the industry RAPES us for international anything... ridiculous!

Posted via CB10

If they had adopted Jim idea BlackBerry would have made billions just on this. All carriers connected to BlackBerry noc

Posted via CB10

TMO is great in most metro/urban areas; not so much in rural areas. Fortunately, I have great TMO coverage in my city...been with them since before they were TMO. Hopefully, they will carry the Z30 (fingers crossed).

@dunaway - Posted with TMO Q10 via CB10

Great news! Last trip to AU had a $150 bill for 12 days when using Wifi as much as possible. Will definitely use this option.

Posted via CB10

Damn I hope AT&T follows suit...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

this is great and all but it would be nice if they listed the damn 100 countries in an easy to find place. clicking their website is just useless and the press release. why do i have to enter a zipcode to find out about other countries

Bla1ze (or anybody else,) will this include BIS plans? If the overseas partners by practice charge extra for BIS, that cost won't be passed on to the customers, right?

Verizon does a great job at convincing people that they have the best coverage and is the only choice when it comes to that, They use all of the ridiculous rates and fees to brainwash people. As has been stated numerous times before, coverage is location dependent and for most people in the US, coverage is no better on Verizon than T-Mobile. That leaves you with the choice of paying $100/mo for unlimited talk, text and 2.5g of data per line (no overages) as opposed to close to $200 with Verizon and you have to share your data and pay for overages. I'll take my $1200 savings per year and spend that on something else. Also, try to go to the Virgin Islands and use your device like you do here and not incur additional charges. Now, with these new free data roaming plans (remember, BBM is data), I can't even imagine the savings that T-Mobile will give to you.

As far as customer service is concerned, I've never had a problem with T-Mobile. It seems like you only hear from the people with bad experiences but, as someone very familiar with the customer service industry, some people are just never satisfied and look forward to badmouthing anyone. They'd even find something wrong with the Ritz Carlton.

Just in time. Returning to China on October 30th with my Z10. All I wanted was an option to pay for an international data plan.

Posted via CB10

It's about time! I travel all over the world and my last two bills were $500 and $600. Didn't even have the phone on all the time and still racked up big charges. I welcome this.

Posted via CB10

This is a very positive move for those of us who work internationally. Hopefully just the start to increased movement of information and ideas that are the fuel of the new economic order. It is profound. Some roaming costs are huge without reason.

Posted via CB10

And the real news story is..... Carrier wakes up to the reality of improved instant messaging. The imminent arrival of BBM with text, video and voice has put the carriers on the back foot with the reality that ANY unlimited Wifi will allow consumers to videochat worldwide at no additional costs.

Posted via CB10

Truly awesome. A real game changer that I'm very excited to see. But now to the fine print:


"Calls over Wi-Fi are $.20/min; texts over Wi-Fi are $.20 each."

Say what? I know they cannot be charging for Skype/BBM/VOIP calls, so they must mean using T-Mobile's own Wi-fi Calling. So this doesn't make much sense to me. Before, if was outside the USA roaming, calls over the roaming network would be anywhere from $0.99 - $4.99/minute, but calls over T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling were free (from bundle). Same deal with texts.

Now it seems all calls are $0.20/minute, INCLUDING the ones made over Wi-Fi Calling. Same for texts too, so says the fine print.

Am I reading that right? If so, it strikes me a sneaky way to get back a few $ from the suckers who don't read the fine print and do a lot of Wi-Fi Calling calls when outside the USA.

(Also, it doesn't say this $0.20/minute charge is only for international (although it's on the international page), but I assume this doesn't mean domestic Wi-Fi calling is now $0.20/minute.)

Lastly, any word on how much the higher speed data bundles will be. Are they for 4G or 3G, or depending on country? Fixed price or per MB?

I thought I was the only who saw the fine print about charging for calls and texts over wifi. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I suppose they have to recover the costs somehow. Also it appears that i can be roaming in anyone of the included 100 countries and send texts back to the US and to any of those included countries for free, however when I'm at home its going to cost me to send international messages . . . . . Hmmmmm . . . .

Last night when I first read the press release I was impressed but after reading the 'fine print' not so much. I'll just be happy when they have better coverage in my market (which they claim has LTE coverage)

This sucks and doesn't make sense but until they more companies who have the option of using Wifi for calling then they are looking at this as an enhancement to provide a bigger coverage area because the Wifi calling is great. It makes your calls almost perfect. This is just like charging for txts. Txt messages are almost free. The text data fits in the empty space that the phone uses to send the pulse to the tower to stay connected so txt messages should be free like Wifi calls should be free.

How about getting T-Mobile to come to Canada and give us some love. Its not like we're going to see ANY Canadian carrier do this (sniff sob whine cry)

So glad I switched to T-Mobile. I have awesome LTE coverage in the NoVA/DC area, and now when I travel internationally for work I have unlimited data and text in most countries. No other carrier has something as good as this right now.

As for the fine print, I believe it means calling to international number. I believe that wifi calling to US number still remains the same which is no roaming charges.

As for sms, this actually will be better as it is at $0.50 per text whether you text to us or international number when overseas. If you have their international text then only outbound will be charged when overseas.


Posted via CB10

There is no reason to think the $0.20/minute is only for calling an international number. Where did you come up with that? Just blind hope? It clears and only says "calls over wi-fi are $0.20", and it says nothing about calls back to US or international calls.

And how are the texts better now? Calls over Wi-Fi Calling when outside the US are 100% free (from your bundle), and now they're not free.

I agree this is a fantastic change to their plans in general, but I think you're being a little naive about what the fine print means.

Well, I have been using wifi calling features and Tmo unlimited sms for international business traveling for years. I spoke of my actual experience.

But yes it is a speculation but I cannot see why they want to make that change on wifi calling (currently, us to us number when oversee with no additional charges).

Posted via CB10

You don't see why they would want to make this change? Really? For more money? Under the guise of "we're standardizing ALL calling costs while outside the USA."

And I know that in the past it has been free if you're on UMA/Wi-Fi calling, but the wording reads as if this is a change. So we'll see. I'll be doing a trip in November as well.

Posted via CB10

This is a bold step that will probably set a new rates-slashing trend on roaming charges. We expect to see a lot of Operators from different geographical areas form partnerships that enables their subscribers to use the local network without incurring ridiculous roaming charges. There are also solutions in store that enable the roaming subscribers to receive instantaneous alerts on the prevailing local rates as soon as they arrive at their destinations. We expect with these developments, bill shocks on travel to reduce significantly.