T-Mobile has found another way to differentiate itself from the competition, by not ripping us off when we visit another country and dare to use our phone. Announced at an event in New York this week, T-Mobile will soon allow subscribers on its Simple Choice plans to use their data allowance at no extra cost in more than 100 countries around the world.
International roaming is shockingly expensive. In his typically abrupt way, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said we’re “Forced to pay insanely inflated international connectivity fees,” and coming home to “Bill shock” happens all too often. He also provided some worrying statistics, saying 40 percent of travelers turned off data roaming while abroad, but 20 percent didn’t know how to do so, leaving 40 percent who choose to pay the potentially massive costs, often because they don’t know or have time to figure out the alternative.
T-Mobile wants more customers. The new option doesn’t require activating or an extra charge; it’ll just work starting October 31. At this time, Simple Choice subscribers – personal and business – will have unlimited data and texts when they visit one of 100 countries – referred to as Simple Global countries – plus a flat rate of $0.20 per minute for voice calls.
How can it afford to do this? According to NBC News, Legere says its subscribers don’t use their phones internationally very often, so it’s easily inside the terms it has set with international networks, even with the expected influx of new members. Plus, T-Mobile offers high-speed roaming plans, which cost extra per month, where it may claw some money back.
Additionally, T-Mobile has introduced Stateside International Talk & Text, which will suit those who aren’t traveling, but still want to call or text international numbers. It’s an extra $10 per month for Simple Choice customers, and sets a ceiling of $0.20 per minute for calls to all the countries on the Simple Global list, including mobile-to-mobile calls. Most landline calls will be covered under the unlimited banner, and texts are covered, too.
Finally, T-Mobile has jumped on the celebrity endorsement bandwagon, joining everyone from BlackBerry to Intel. To show off its new plans, it employed Shakira. Shakira is quoted as saying, “I’m excited to partner with T-Mobile and look forward to being able to share my music in new and innovative ways.” Of course you do, Shakira.
T-Mobile’s unlimited roaming plan comes online October 31, and a list of the eligible countries can be found here.