Company planning to offer free talk and text to Mexico to Simple Choice subscribers?

mexican-flag-640

Part of T-Mobile’s big wave-making last year was the addition of free international roaming in 100 countries as part of its Simple Choice plans. It was the first time any major carrier had been as bold, and has already seen positive results for those traveling abroad.  A handful of blog posts across the tech scene have lauded its benefits, even if the data is limited to EDGE speeds.

As good as roaming may be, there are still a massive number of Americans who don’t travel. Some – understandably – have friends or family abroad. And for those, it looks like change could be afoot.

We’ve heard from one of our tipsters that T-Mobile is planning to announce a new scheme. Simple Choice customers will be able to talk and text their friends/family in Mexico for free, as part of their plan. Both landlines and mobiles will be included, according to our source, who states that an announcement is expected on or around February 23rd. It seemed odd to me that the company should choose a Sunday, but, it’s been done before. Back in December, a new $35 unlimited talk and text plan was announced and released on a Sunday.

As for more detail, we have very little. It’s said by the source that it will initially roll out to Simple Choice postpaid accounts in February, and make its way to No Credit Check accounts in March sometime. To clarify, this is said to be calling and texting from within the US to Mexico. No other countries have been mentioned.

We’ve not seen any official internal documentation on this, so we’ll see if it comes good. If it does, will any of you be taking advantage? One thing’s for sure, if T-Mobile does launch this offer, it’ll suddenly become really attractive to Latin Americans with families across the border in Mexico.

Tags: , , ,

  • Willie D

    Contrary to belief, Mexico isn’t the most popular destination for calls from the US. Canada, UK, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil all top it. Offering calls to Mexico is kinda catering to one demographic so who not offer free calls to the USA while roaming in Mexico instead?

    • KB

      Targeting a demographic that will bring family over to T-Mobile. Some of my family and friends might leave AT&T because the cost vs coverage makes it worthwhile, if this happens.

    • Tmo

      That’s called Uncarrier 3.0, Simple Global. Free calls to the US when on WiFi calling.

      • Trevnerdio

        You’ve always been able to talk free anywhere on WiFi. The plan allows you to roam on another carrier in a region and call back home for free.

  • Paul

    I’m betting Canada will be included, as they might look at it as a North American deal.

    Either way, it seems like an interesting deal. Being in Texas I could see where this could be useful when crossing the boarder.

  • Dan

    “it’ll suddenly become really attractive to Latin Americans with families across the border in Central America.”

    Mexico isn’t in Central America. You might want to just say “Mexico” instead.

    • Cam Bunton

      Fair point. I always though Mexico was Central America.. I’ll edit it. ;-)

      • Zacamandapio

        Yes. That’s the way a lot people understand it since they call USA (North America).
        If fact, when I was growing up there was only one America which included South, Central and North.
        But to make things straight, Mexico is located in the American Continent or if you want to be specific, North America.

  • pseudoswede

    Uncarrier Cinco!

    • Zacamandapio

      Ha ha.
      That works for me. Since I pay $10 for a similar feature.

  • hanfeedback

    Wife would use this, we haven’t added the $10 addon they have now because we don’t use $10 a month in calling cards. However, if it’s a free addon it will be good, dialing direct is always better than the hassle of a calling card.

  • SEBA

    I don’t think it has anything to do with latin customers. It’s more like #1 vacation destination for Americans.

    • Cam Bunton

      In that case, this wouldn’t make a difference. It’s calls/texts from US to Mexico.. Not Mexico to US

      • Zacamandapio

        The global roaming one includes data and texts to the US for free. Just phone calls are $.20.

        • fentonr

          Data to the US? What?

    • fentonr

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, there are tons of first or second generation Mexican immigrants all over the country. I worked as a dealer in northern Wisconsin and we had a fair number of people who wanted to be able to call back to Mexico for a reasonable rate. The $10 international feature was a big hut when that came out, caused a good number of people to switch to T-Mobile…and that’s in Wisconsin, for southern states, this could drive a lot of people to T-Mobile.

      • Mike N

        This has NOTHING to do with tourists. There will be lines at the door of TMo strores when/if this breaks.

        • fentonr

          Who said anything about tourists?

  • TechHog

    They should find a way to do this for Canada too.

    • fentonr

      I agree.

  • Omarc Boyer

    Has anyone ever tried tmobiles roaming in mexico or any other country? Is it a good experience? I only used at&t last year in mexico and it was a pretty crappy experience it worked in Mexico roamed on telcel but came home to an 900 dollar bill my fault i admit called a few times to the US and i didnt even use data i always used free wifi in hotels, So how is tmobile i have tmobile right now and would like to try it out in mexico but scared.

    • hanfeedback

      If you’re on a postpaid plan text and data is included and calls are a very reasonable 20c a minute. Data is limited 128k but for email, maps and basic web browsing it should be fine.

    • marcos

      It is okay in mexico you get good coverage and send text and calls are good.

      • marcos

        On my nexus 5 LTE 32gb

    • Zacamandapio

      Ok.
      It’s good. But T-Mobile uses Movistar for Mexico roaming. I’ve driven there many times and their coverage is not as good as Telcel’s.
      But why complain if it’s free.

      • Omarc Boyer

        Oh ok but.im going to michoacan next month i know main citys like morelia,.uruapan have movistar so i guess i would be fine there.. But i have an aunt that lives in a place called tepalcatepec and she told me everyone over there has telcel since movistar dnt make it there so if i were to visit her i wont be able to to roam on telcel with my tmobile phone?

        • rick

          My signal is 4G with movistar and I am in Matamoros, tamaulipas

    • David Lebron

      I used it in Jamaica and was pleasantly surprised. Internet speeds were not great but were good enough to use Facebook, check email, and my fantasy team lol. The signal was great – it roamed on digicel and lime.

      • northrode

        I will second that by saying I had a signal EVERYWHERE in Jamaica. From the second the plane landed to the country areas where I had no reason to expect anything. While speeds were not great (it said 3G) it was still better than what I get on t-mobile when I leave the city areas in the US.

        • David Lebron

          The last 20 words or so are so sad but true lol

        • northrode

          Yeah, it is sad. I wish t-mobile would aggressively work on that.

    • Deibid

      Omarc: I use it all the time in mexico, as I cross to Tijuana several times a week. I can assure you it works great! Calls to anywhere in mexico, or back to the US are .20 cents/min. Texting is free, and the internet is unlimited slow speed – I get around .13 mbps, which works just fine for facebook, whatsapp, webpages (use chrome its much faster), and even streaming Pandora works – it hicups once in a while but it works! I highly recommend it if you goto mexico or any of the countries on the list

  • Jose M Gonzalez

    i already have the $10 add on for my mom and it has been worth it. paired with the unlimited minutes she can talk to my aunts and uncles all she wants. now if it became free then that’d be awesome!

  • LC

    JUMP! Also launched on a Sunday. Just saying :)

    • Trevnerdio

      When you said jump, I was half expecting a Mexican joke there.

  • maximus1901

    Too bad Sprint is buying TMO.

    • fentonr

      There’s hope until its approved. But it might be approaching contingency planning time.

      • maximus1901

        What’s the contingency? Prices will go up at ALL carriers if this is approved.
        Best thing that could happen is this merger is DENIED and TMO walks away with ANITHER $3bil+spectrum.

        AAAND starts converting their 2g only sites before all those customers it just convinced to switch realize the CRAP that awaits them once they pass the city limits.

        • fentonr

          The best thing that could happen would be Sprint gets smart and decides not to make a bid…of course, Sprint isn’t really known for being smart.

        • maximus1901

          Then where would TMO get the $2bil to upgrade its 2g crap that still bedevil millions of pops? TMO covers 280mil with 2g and 232mil with >=3G.
          And then there’s the $2-3bil TMO needs to buy rest of 700mhz a block. And $5bil to get nationwide 600mhz. Oh and $2-3 billion to get some upcoming AWS spectrum.
          That’s $11-13 bil just for THE SPECTRUM to remain viable. You think tmus can afford to keep cutting prices while making its network better?
          Now do you see why DT wants out?

        • maximus1901

          I just watched an interview with former Verizon CEO and he said that the reason why TMO is sacrificing $$$ for customers is because that’s what companies do when they want to get bought! They add a bunch of customers sacrificing margins in order to force someone else to buy them.
          THAT is what uncarrier is all about: taking enough customers away from sprint to force sprint to buy them.

        • fsured

          Source please. If you saw an interview then where is it. Until then this Uncarrier is working as T-Mobile planed. For sale or not, Dt wins with subscriber growth, increased income from subscriber growth, or a sale of the company. Either way Uncarrier is working in DT’s favor. Hell they may even say no to the offer of Softbank. Yes they want out but that doesn’t mean they have to take the first offer given.

        • fentonr

          I don’t really care about a source, lots of people have said that and it is just an opinion, its a valid opinion no matter who said it. But, I agree with you in that I think it is an incorrect opinion. T-Mobile could be making a significant amount of profit if they wanted to, their ad spending and capex are up significantly because they know that if they want to be a competitor for any meaningful amount of time, they need to grow the business.

        • maximus1901

          If sprint merger dies, we’ll see. If TMO continues the uncarrier things, then it’s sustainable. If not, then it was ALL just a gimick to get bought by someone.

          Let’s be honest though: if they really want to grow the business they need to upgrade the remaining 15k towers to lte.

        • fentonr

          You make it sound so simple, it isn’t just as easy as tossing a radio on a tower.

        • maximus1901

          You’re right: the 15k 2g owners will be painful. The first 39k were cake because they just upgraded the pannels and rru. The next 15k towers, if they actually do it, will be as painful as Sprint’s upgrades: replace every single component on the tower.
          Oh and wait for the local ISP to get fiber/microwave backhaul. Let’s see if the people here will think sprint was so horribly slow once TMO goes through the same thing.

          That is, if the merger doesn’t happen and if DT doesn’t want to strt losing millions of customers.

        • fentonr

          What are you talking about? That doesn’t even make sense. Towers are, for the most part, owned by T-Mobile, they’re are more like 30k-40k towers (in total, not just the 2G towers), backhaul isn’t an issue, they did that a couple years ago when they switched from fiber to Ethernet and it isn’t simply just upgrading towers. LTE is very different and uses different frequencies than 2G, it travels different distances and penetrates differently, sometimes it isn’t just upgrading a tower, it means building a new one.

          I don’t think it will be as painful as Sprint’s upgrade because Sprint has multiple 4G technologies they’re dealing with and T-Mobile has shown with their progress on the MetroPCS merger that they can integrate two networks quickly and smoothly while Sprint hasn’t.

        • maximus1901

          Sorry to burst your bubble buuuuut:

          http://assets{DOT}fiercemarkets{DOT}com/public/mdano/amis/tmopres{DOT}pdf

          1) tmobile is currently planning on upgrading 37k towers, slide 16/34

          2) tmobile has a total of 52k towers pre metropcs merger:
          slide 18/34
          and NO that does NOT include DAS nodes; notice the asterisk is applied to ONLY metro’s cell site count

          3) tmobile has NOT upgraded ALL their backhaul to fiber/ethernet/microwave/(something that doesn’t suck ass)

          You think TMO is running ethernet to their 2G-only sites? They’re running probably 1.44mbps T1 lines.

          I can give you this example I’ve read many times: when TMO’s 10+ year old 2G crap site basestations breakdown, they replace it with a modern basestation which can broadcast HSPA buuuuuuut the max speed is only 300-500k. Why? Because the backhaul is only 1.44mbps.

          ===============================================
          Sprint:
          Is replacing every single component on their towers; Tmobile only had to replace the panels and add RRUs.
          Dealing with multiple technologies? They’re upgrading their 39k towers with basestations that can handle LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD.
          Their existing WiMax network:
          1) is being easily upgraded to transmit LTE-TDD B41
          2) will be shutdown by ?2015? or end of 2015.

          Furthermore, TMO had fast backhaul to their 37k towers when they started upgrading to LTE.
          Sprint had NOOOOO fast backhaul which is why their network was destroyed by Facebook, Netflix, etc.

        • fentonr

          I have actual things to do with my day and it is clear that you don’t actually know anything about this so this will be my last post. You’re numbers are inconsistent, you’re arguing against yourself and you’re getting off topic. I told you that T-Mobile has more than 15k towers and you’re response was to argue that they had 51k pre MetroPCS merger, which is exactly what I told you in the first place.
          Your point that T-Mobile has been replacing panels while Sprint has been replacing everything has nothing to do with this conversation. My point was that T-Mobile has shown they can integrate two networks while Sprint hasn’t. You can say what you like but the MetroPCS merger has gone well so far and the Nextel merger didn’t, that’s the bottom line.
          I also said that building out a new network wasn’t as easy as replacing panels on existing towers and that sometimes new towers need to be constructed and you responded by saying that when a 2G tower breaks they upgrade it to HSPA+. That’s nice, but it really doesn’t have anything to do with anything.
          On the subject of backhaul, I’m aware the entire thing hasn’t been upgraded, I’ve actually talked to people on the network team and I can even show you specific towers that haven’t had an upgraded backhaul. I wasn’t claiming that every single tower had been upgraded, if that was how you read my post, I apologize. I’ll restate it, many cell sites were upgraded to Ethernet backhauls as part of a cost savings initiative a couple years ago. Likely, it was just HSPA towers that were upgraded as 2G towers don’t carry as much traffic and thus, don’t really need an upgrade.
          You’re welcome to respond to this of course, but I will not be checking this thread any further. I’ve gone as far down this rabbit hole as I like.

        • maximus1901

          Tmobile owns ZEEERROOOOO towers.
          http://www.fiercewireless{DOT}com/story/t-mobile-sells-towers-crown-castle-24b/2012-09-28

          ATT also sold their towers; Verizon has not.
          TMO rents tower space for its antennas.

        • fentonr

          Ok, I know I said I’m done replying, but I can’t let this one go. That article you linked to directly contradicts what you just said. T-Mobile does own towers, they just sold the rights to operate 7,200 of them, not all of them. If my math is correct, 51k minus 7.2k is not 0. Those are your numbers by the way.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          If tmo gets the rest of the a block they dont need 600 or additional aws to go with it. And they havent cut prices at all, just added value to existing price points

        • maximus1901

          Agree with your second but Hesse said that sprint “could use more low band” on top of 10-14mhz they have.
          If they’re paying $350 etfS then they have to make that up over the two years.

        • fentonr

          I think that’s a bit much but that they’re better off on their own than reversing course and losing customers, degrading customer service, not pushing to upgrade the network for a year is worth a fraction of the amount they need to be successful?

        • maximus1901

          I switched from verizon 2 weeks ago and WOW that whole “city limits LTE” is true. I took a slightly different way home – emphasis on the SLIGHTLY – and BAM: GPRS! And I was in a “satisfactory 4g area” with an iPhone 4S. 10 sec later, back to 4G. This is NOT acceptable. I’m not asking for 4g everywhere verizon Nd AT&T have it but if by the time iPhone 6 comes out TMO doesn’t have 4g AT LEAST everywhere sprint does in metro Detroit, I’m gone.

          Another thing that’s annoying is in some buildings like Home Depot and Minir league hockey arena it’s either edge or no service.

          But what’s absolutely UNscceptable is that in a one floor condo in an “excellent lte” area I have no service at all.

        • fentonr

          I completely agree, I switched from Verizon as well and there is a definite shock when it comes to coverage. A Sprint bid wouldn’t help though, it would just slow down network expansion while it was pending and if the merger did go through, Sprint would mess it up just like they did with the Nextel merger.

        • maximus1901

          This is new management. People can’t keep on comparing current sprint to previous sprint management; it’s just not the sane.

        • fentonr

          Actually, it is the same management, its just new ownership. the executive team remained at least largely the same and Dan Hesse is still the CEO. The board changed some but the board doesn’t control things like how efficiently and effectively two networks are merged. That task would fall to the CTO with approval by the CEO. So, it seems to me that the two are comparable.

        • maximus1901

          SoftBank is in charge now. And Hesse didn’t initiate the Nextel merger. Furthermore, all high-end phones contain CDMA Hspa lte so no it would be the cluster-f that iden was.

        • maximus1901

          I just want sprint to make a decision already. Either bid or don’t bid. Cause THAT is a huge cause of no investment by tmobile. If sprint announces bid tomorrow and TMO is stagnant at 209mil for 6-9 months, that’d suck. And I’d move to sprint cause by then, their lte coverage will extended outside the city limits. ;p

        • Beanz0nToast

          did you just complain about having GPRS for 10 seconds?

          1st World Problems!

        • LSKW

          they’re not cutting prices. they’re adding customers. that’s two different things. more customers leads to increase profit, then upgrade their towers.

      • Dakota

        Better they try now during a Democratic administration than a couple years when there likely will be a more conservative government

        • longtimeCustomer

          Yes. And worse, AT&T will make another attempt just as soon as there is a conservative gov.

    • anthony

      It’s not going to happen. Remember when AT&T was trying to buy T-Mobile

  • S. Ali

    I hope they negotiate with more countries to get high-speed data. ATT lets you use LTE in Canada (for a price). Give me 100mb LTE in Canada.

    • hanfeedback

      As long as they market it as unlimited it wont happen, you will have people streaming HD movies while out of the country. These are the same people who abuse unlimited now and use it as there sole source of internet for their entire house. I would rather see very reasonably priced international data at normal speeds than free slow data but thats just me.

      • danielhep

        Both of you realize T-Mobile does offer reasonably priced high speed data? You can pay for allotments of high speed data overseas. The slow stuff is what’s unlimited, just like when you’re in the US.

        • S. Ali

          Its $25 for 200mb or $50 for 500mb (not LTE service either). That isn’t reasonable at all. You can buy a local sim for less and get several GB of data for that price and cheaper local calling. The slower service (128k) is way too slow to do anything like navigation.

        • danielhep

          The issue I believe is that they’re giving every country the same rate. So yeah, it’s overpriced for most countries, but they have to make it so they don’t lose money even if you go to a country that has very expensive data plans.

        • hanfeedback

          $50 for 500mb is NOT reasonable, reasonable would be $20 for a GB or something similar. Obviously they have to make a profit but very few countries have rates that even approach those prices, they would still be marking it up several times. I do believe however that 20c for calls per min is reasonable and would use it at that price like I do at home.

        • anthony

          I pay 50 for unlimited data

        • danielhep

          Um.. Other countries are much smaller and denser than the US. It takes a LOT of money to put up towers for a cell phone network here. That’s why we have so many MVNOs.

  • 0neTw0

    Guess I’ll start calling Mexico now. I don’t speak spanish but I might be able to get them to send money.

  • Mike N

    This will absolutely blow a huge part of the market wide open. The Mexico charges can be a huge deal, depending on plan. And if TMo decides to eliminate them there will be a huge influx, especially on the prepaid side.

  • Dakota

    Should be Canada too

    • maximus1901

      TMO’s customers are overwhelmingly credit challenged sooooo they know how to make then happy.

    • tech916

      Nothing good comes out of canada look at Justin Beiber …the heck with canada

  • noelsito

    Wow this is awesome! Boost Mobile’s international calling plans are the only things that are stopping my dad from hopping onto TMo

  • CSNHOU

    I was at the T-Mobile store yesterday here in Houston and the store clerk said they had a meeting about this the other day, so it is true and it will include Mobile to Mobile for free. She said it was coming at the end of February. This is going to be big!

  • GinaDee

    No doubt I love these freebies.. I mean who doesn’t?

    But I’d rather pay a little more if they’d hurry up and replace EDGE with LTE/HSPA+. I’d pay a premium if they made a commitment today that EDGE would be completely overlaid by the end of this year.

    • Svengalis

      if you want to pay more for better coverage then why are you on tmobile? switch to verizon.

      • Michael

        I think GinaDee is talking about internet speeds while traveling internationally, the way you worded your question sounded like you’re talking about coverage in the US which T-Mobile has a good LTE and HSPA+ coverage.

  • AndroidBot

    Muy bueno! Gracias T-Mobile.