T-Mobile announces end of roaming charges, but speed to be an issue

Oct. 10, 2013 at 5:09 PM
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BELLEVUE, Wash., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- T-Mobile has announced a mobile phone plan eliminating extra international fees for data and text messaging it says is aimed at world travelers.

Starting Oct. 31, T-Mobile customers with any of the company's "Simple Choice" plans will be able browse the Internet and send text messages in any of the 115 countries included in T-Mobile's global plan.

T-Mobile said the plan would cover 98 percent of the destinations to which Americans travel, including all of North America, most of Central and South America, all of Europe and various Asian/Pacific countries.

The plan should prove especially attractive to global business travellers, Mike Katz, T-Mobile's vice president for brand, acquisition and channel marketing told the Washington Post.

"This is a great plan for businesses, from a number of standpoints," he said, noting T-Mobile has heard from companies reporting they spend thousands of dollars a day on roaming costs for employees needing to use data overseas.

T-Mobile is able to offer the plan using new and existing roaming partnerships with carriers around the globe, Katz said.

One drawback to the plan, analysts noted, is that it come with a speed handicap; while plan users will be able to roam for free, it will only be at EDGE/2G speeds, well below LTE 4G and even 3G speeds.

EDGE/2G speeds are about 100 Kbps, compared to LTE 4G speeds, which can exceed 50 Mbps.

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