T-Mobile has long been a favorite of travelers because all Simple Choice plans offer free unlimited data and text messaging in 120+ countries worldwide, but voice calls were charged per-minute, and data speeds were capped at a 128kbps crawl.
Now with the new "Mobile Without Borders" benefit - voice calls to or from any Canadian, Mexican, or United States number are included.
And even better - T-Mobile customers get access to full high speed LTE data while traveling!
The Details & Limitations
T-Mobile has partnered with two carriers in Mexico and six carriers in Canada (it still isn't clear exactly which ones) to provide roaming coverage that extends customers' current T-Mobile service plans across the continent.
While traveling - phone calls and texting is unlimited, and you have full access to the same high-speed data bucket attached to your T-Mobile plan that you do in the USA.
Yes - even the $80/mo Unlimited smartphone plan roams.
Classic T-Mobile features work internationally too - like unlimited music streaming. Support for T-Mobile's "Data Stash" roll-over data bucket however will not be there initially, but T-Mobile plans to enable that as well later in the year.
The one big limitation: you need to have a US address, the plan needs to be initially activated in the US, and you need to spend at least half your time in the USA over the course of a year. This isn't a plan suitable for Canadians, alas.
Getting "Mobile Without Borders"
Starting July 15th, all new T-Mobile Simple Choice plans will include the "Mobile Without Borders" feature for free. Even prepaid plans.
But existing customers will need to opt-in to add service to their plan.
If you currently have a T-Mobile plan, be sure to go online and do this!
If you have an older promotional plan, you will need to switch to a current Simple Choice plan to get this benefit, or you can add the roaming feature to your current plan for $10/mo while still keeping your old grandfathered plan.
This Is Huge for RVers
With so many roaming partners - T-Mobile will now very likely have better rural coverage in Canada and Mexico than it does in the USA, where it's network is still dwarfed by Verizon and AT&T.
But for any RVers who travels north in the summer or south in the winter, it now makes total sense to cary a T-Mobile plan on board, even if just as a secondary plan while traveling domestically.
No other carrier offers anything close to this good of a deal.
AT&T has spent billions buying Mexican carriers, and has talked about offering seamless North American roaming for years now - but T-Mobile has completely beaten AT&T to the punch.
John Legere rubs it in:
“After spending billions buying up Mexican telecoms, AT&T’s CEO is promising ‘the first seamless network covering Mexico and the U.S.,’ something ‘unique’ that ‘nobody else will be able to do for the consumer.’ So much for that. They won’t be the first. And they won’t offer Canada for free. We’ve done this the Un-carrier way − reaching across borders, partnering with leading providers offering the best LTE networks, creating a simple solution right now − then not charging a penny more for it.”
AT&T is going to have to come out with something really special now to stand out.
Your move, AT&T.