T-Mobile has announced continued expansion for international travelers looking to use their T-Mobile postpaid plans. Starting 7/22/18, they will increase the number of countries that T-Mobile plans can be used from 140 to 210.
Beginning August 1, 2018, T-Mobile customers will also have the option of a 'daily data pass' add-on to access increased high-speed allotments of data which can be used internationally in 210 countries.
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Daily Data Pass
Those looking to do a little international sightseeing can now purchase 'daily data passes':
- 512Mb of high-speed data - then speeds are reduced to 2G (158Kbps)
- unlimited text messaging
- 25-cent/minute calling rates.
- 210 countries
- Can be added to most any T-Mobile plan
This add-on is not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and your primary usage must occur on T-Mobile's U.S. network. Your device must also register on T-Mobile's U.S. network before international use.
T-Mobile is proudly increasing its countries of permitted international usage from 140+ to 210. These 210 countries are yet to be officially listed on T-Mobile's website, but will be listed by 7/22/18 on their international page.
Other International Features
T-Mobile has historically offered pretty swell international roaming features when compared with other carriers - and those features aren't disappearing.
T-Mobile has offered Simple Global for some time. Now that T-Mobile is adding a daily data pass option and 70 countries to the list of applicable use, this package includes:
- unlimited 2G speed (128Kbps) data
- unlimited texting
20-cents/minute25-cents/minute voice calls 140210 countries
Do note that calling rates on Simple Global will be going up from 20-cents/minute to 25-cents/minute.
Simple Global is included without additional cost on some plans - but not all. Plans that include Simple Global:
- All T-Mobile ONE plans
- On ONE+ International data will be delivered at 256kbps (3G) speeds in 210 countries
- Simple Choice plans
- New Classic plans
- Select Choice plans
Fine print on Simple Global indicates:
Simple Global is not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on T-Mobile's U.S. network. Your device must register on T-Mobile's U.S. network before international use. Service may be terminated or restricted for excessive roaming.
Plans with Simple Global features are still eligible for $5 add-on daily data passes.
What About Canada & Mexico?
T-Mobile treats roaming into Canada and Mexico differently than it does in its pot of 210 countries. And for the nomad who occasionally roams into either our neighbor to the North or the South - that's a good thing!
- T-Mobile's ONE Plus International Plan: In Canada & Mexico, you get full speed data and free talk an text.
- T-Mobile ONE (including Military, 55+ and Prepaid): These plans offer unlimited texting and 5GB/month of high speed data access from your current plan in Mexico & Canada; after 5GB is used, speeds are throttled to 128kbps (2G). Calls are 25-cents/minute.
- All (now grandfathered) T-Mobile Simple Choice: For Canada and Mexico, T-Mobile allows you to use your entire domestic plan on their roaming partners in a program called Mobile Without Borders. This means you get unlimited voice calls and text messaging, and access to all of your domestic high speed data allotment while traveling on these tiered plans.
- For prepaid T-Mobile customers on the MetroPCS sub-brand or Simply Prepaid direct, roaming is included in Mexico & Canada for $5/month extra, with a cap of 5GB of high-speed data.
T-Mobile VS Skyroam
We are frequently asked about Skyroam plans and hotspots for both travel within, and outside of, the U.S - which are aggressively marketed online as a solution for unlimited worldwide data.
Despite marketing claims, Skyroam does not offer truly unlimited service - anywhere. Their plans are restricted to 500mb per day or 15GB per month of high speed usage - depending on the plan you choose. These caps are in place in the U.S. (which uses AT&T's network), and internationally.
In comparison to Skyroam, T-Mobile's daily data pass is a clear winner for US based nomads.
With a 500mb high-speed data cap in place, Skyroam offers its daily data plan for $8/day. T-Mobile gives you 532mb for $5/day on top of your monthly plan - and if you are in the US, Canada, or Mexico you don't have to worry about that cap at all (and won't need to even purchase a daily pass!) Skyroam daily data must be purchased regardless of where you are - including the US, Canada, and Mexico.
On Skyroam, "unlimited data" - which is code word for 15GB - is $125/mo. Now, that data can be used almost anywhere, so that's a perk.
But, for $95, you could also just stick with a T-Mobile ONE+ International line - which will give you truly unlimited 3G speed data in 210 countries (and unlimited 4G mobile hotspot use within North America) - with the option to add a $5/day 532MB high-speed international data boost when needed.
For more info on Skyroam:
T-Mobile VS AT&T VS Verizon
T-Mobile knows it's got a good thing going - and isn't afraid to flaunt it via a clear, concise chart:
Do note that while T-Mobile now officially covers the most countries, and offers the cheapest day pass pricing, AT&T still allows for more high-speed data usage when traveling internationally. Of course, AT&T's international country list is pretty small in comparison to T-Mobile or even Verizon.
Adding 70 countries to the previous list of 140 countries eligible for international use on T-Mobile? Awesome!
Adding the option of high-speed data bumps at $5 a day - even if those bumps are too small to do much more than basic tasks - awesome!
Raising international per minute calling rates from 20-cents/minute to 25-cents/minute - not awesome. But, since we focus on mobile internet access - we're not going to worry too much about that. And, in comparison to $2/min rates on AT&T or Verizon - we're not complaining too much. And there's always the option of free Wi-Fi Calling.
We still view T-Mobile as being one of the most international travel friendly options out there for US based nomads looking to do some sight-seeing in other countries for brief periods of time.
Just be aware that none of T-Mobile's international, Canada, or Mexico features are meant to be for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and your primary usage must occur on T-Mobile's U.S. network. Your device must also register on T-Mobile's U.S. network before international use.
For more info on International Travel for US based Nomads: