T-Mobile launches free international text and data roaming
Free plan offers just 128 Kbps data roaming, but adds 'speed boosts' for a fee
Computerworld - T-Mobile US took its rambunctious "uncarrier" message to another level by announcing free unlimited data and texting in 115 countries for business customers and consumers on its Simple Choice plan.
The cost for voice roaming -- normally painful for business travelers -- will be 20 cents a minute in those same countries, a fraction of what some other carriers charge, the company said Wednesday. T-Mobile also announced it has covered 233 U.S. metro areas with its 4G LTE network.
"We think this [roaming] deal will be tough for our competitors to react to," said Drew Kelton, executive vice president of business-to-business at T-Mobile, in an interview with Computerworld.
Aware that T-Mobile -- the nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier -- has been criticized for hatching disruptive plans designed to win new customers at the possible expense of profits, Kelton added, "The fact is that we have absolutely less to lose and lots to gain. The environment here is that we're in a challenger market."
Kelton offered a toned-down imitation of T-Mobile's brash CEO, John Legere, who has nonetheless caught the attention of AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The nation's two largest carriers quickly came up with plans that largely imitated T-Mobile's accelerated smartphone upgrade plan announced this summer as the second tier of its "uncarrier" initiatives. In its first initiative this past spring, T-Mobile revamped its service contract approach.
While free unlimited data roaming in 115 countries sounds attractive, it will only be available for free at speeds no greater than 2G and with no tethering included, according to the fine print on the T-Mobile Web site. Customers must be part of T-Mobile's Simple Choice Rate Plan. Kelton said T-Mobile defines 2G as 128 Kbps, which is far below 4G LTE speeds that can reach 20 Mbps on data downloads.
To improve on those 2G speeds, T-Mobile said it has developed special Speed Boost plans for a fee. For business users, there are monthly plans that cost $25 for 150MB, $60 for 400MB, $120 for 1GB and $240 for 2 GB. T-Mobile didn't specify a data rate.
For consumers, the Speed Boost plans start at $15 for 100MB of data a day, $25 for 200MB a week and $50 for 500 MB of data for two weeks. Faster speeds will vary by country, T-Mobile said in an email to Computerworld.
Kelton said travelers will need to be sure their devices can run on the wireless frequencies in the countries they visit, which is mostly in the 1900 MHz spectrum. Some analysts said users will need quad-band phones to reach all the countries in Europe they want.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Wireless Carriers White Papers | Webcasts