18 months later, Sprint copies T-Mobile international roaming feature

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 14.52.30

It’s become something of a pattern since the Uncarrier movements started a couple of years back: T-Mobile unleashes a program or plan, and another carrier copies it. Whether that’s separating the plan and cost of the phone in to two separate deals, or offering early upgrade plans. T-Mobile does it, and the rest follow suit in a bid to remain competitive.

One of those moves – launched by T-Mobile in October 2013 – was to give its Simple Choice customers free international texting and data when they travel. Granted, the data access is limited to 2G/EDGE speeds, but going abroad knowing that you’re not going to rack up a huge bill on your vacation is a huge load off any traveler’s shoulders.

Finally, another carrier has seen the light and copied the move. Except it doesn’t quite seem as good.

Sprint, earlier this week, announced a new “International Value Roaming” feature. Qualified customers (new and existing) will be able to add it to their plans providing they have a compatible GSM/LTE phone. They get free unlimited data (again 2G speeds) and texts while visiting any country covered by the new plan. And just like T-Mobile, will charge you 20 cents per minute to make and receive calls.

It almost looks a carbon copy of T-Mo’s offering until you look at the countries offered. Sprint’s service at launch only includes 16 international destinations: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Spain and the UK.

Customers can – if they like – add access to higher network speeds (up to 3G) with bundles starting at $15 for 100MB for one day, $25 for 200MB for seven days or $50 for 500MB over fourteen days. Customers can also use Sprint’s Wi-Fi calling feature in over 200 countries to make calls back to the U.S. Providing they have a compatible handset.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this is a bad move from Sprint. International roaming is one of the biggest pain points for customers. In particular those who travel often. What I am suggesting however, is that Sprint has some way to go before it comes close to competing with the level of coverage offered by T-Mobile. As an example, here’s a breakdown of the number of areas covered by the T-Mobile International Roaming feature:

  • North America and Caribbean – 27 countries/territories
  • South and Central America – 20 countries
  • Europe – 44 countries
  • Asia and the Pacific – 21 countries
  • Africa and Middle East – 13 countries

That’s 125 countries/territories in all. Some 109 more than what Sprint can offer at launch. So Old Yeller definitely has some catching up to do. But it’s a start. And the company does have plans to expand its international offering.

With all this said, it’s worth questioning how long this will only cover 2G data speeds for. Although it’s great having free roaming on a device, most services that rely on a data connection really struggle on anything beneath 3G speeds. I know when I was in Barcelona, I tried browsing and using data with the 3G/4G switched off to save costs. It was horrendous. In the end I added a comparatively good value add-on to my plan to gain access to real data speeds.

I’m curious: What’s your experience of using T-Mobile’s unlimited 2G roaming abroad? Was it as frustrating as it sounds? Or was it great to get it for free?

Via: Fierce Wireless

 

Tags: , , ,

  • Jason

    I love T-mobiles global roaming. I’ve used it in the UK, France, Germany, and Australia. Huge benefit to T-mobile!!!

    • Fabian Cortez

      Poor Sprint customers won’t be able to roam for free in Australia. Nor will they be able to use Wi-Fi calling in Australia because Sprint claims it to be against the law, which is clearly a lie.

  • JustSaying

    Sprint tries to copy T-Mobile and FAILS again… according to Sprint’s website it says “2G speeds up to 64 kbps” .. That is HALF the speed T-Mobile gives you! hahaha

    • ericdabbs

      Blah blah blah. Tmobile just like Sprint wrote the same crap in their T&C that say speeds are up to 128 kbps. When my friend and I went to Vietnam he told me on his phone that he was browsing in speeds way above 128 kbps like maybe regular HSPA speeds. I am sure others can attest to the same thing in other countries that did not follow the 128 kbps rule. Some countries don’t offer 2G anymore so I don’t buy that at all. The point of that verbage is to set the bar low so that the expectations are not higher.

      • Mary

        Shut up. Sprint Lover. Goodbye.

        • ericdabbs

          Oh a woman responded about technology…*ignore*

        • Fabian Cortez

          Oh a woman responded about technology…*ignore*

          Not only are you ignorant but you’re schovanistic as well?

          Yeah, that won’t work too well here for you.

          Nor is it ever acceptable anywhere.

      • Fabian Cortez

        No. The verbiage is there for limitations. Without a speed test, your friend’s accounting through your comment here is complete conjecture.

        The Sprint veil is clearly not thin over your eyes.

        How the hell does this compete with T-Mobile?! Less countries (15 vs. 120+), half the speeds (limited to 64 kbps vs. 128 kbps), Wi-Fi calling with extreme limitations, oh and the ever-so-lateness of Sprint.

        If you’re going to be late to the party, make sure your offers at least match or exceed the competition. Not trail in comparison.

        Sprint, slow as hell, but now even slower overseas(TM).

        • ericdabbs

          I didn’t use data overseas and wasn’t interested. I don’t need to prove to you anything. If you don’t believe me, then don’t. We did do speedtests but it doesn’t matter.There are plenty of other data points here that have used international data that can attest to not limiting to 128 kbps.

          I was on vacation so I enjoyed seeing the sites rather than youtubing on my phone. Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore. Besides I am talking to a brick wall here so no point with talking to you anymore. You are just as bad and blind here as you are on Fiercewireless.

        • Fabian Cortez

          I didn’t use data overseas and wasn’t interested.

          You would if it was free.

          If you don’t believe me, then don’t. We did do speedtests but it doesn’t matter.There are plenty of other data points here that have used international data that can attest to not limiting to 128 kbps.

          That’s T-Mobile, not Sprint. Sprint is notorious for failing to meet deadlines or sticking to what they say. They’re extremly anti-consumer and will do anything to make money (even though their financials always have them in the negative).

          You are hoping that the speeds will be greater than 64 kbps based solely on reports from people’s experiences on T-Mobile. Unfortunately for you, Sprint has a historically failed. We’re all waiting for those 80+ Mbps speeds, WiMAX for the $10 4G tax, 2.5 GHz “carrier aggression,” positive postpaid subscriber growth, propper Wi-Fi calling, and all other “coming soon” events that Sprint has said over the years.

          I was on vacation so I enjoyed seeing the sites rather than youtubing on my phone. Now I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

          I was going to poke holes into your statement but you already did that for me. Thanks for the contradiction right there. Sentence #2 contradicts sentence #1.

          So you rather enjoy the sites while on vacation, but in our everyday lives, we live by our phones. They’re conjoined at our hips. You want to ignore the fact that they’re still phones first.

          So when Sprint didn’t want to provide free roaming to none of the countries you’ll visit, it was okay to not stay in touch. Even though staying in touch with whomever you travel with via text seems pretty convenient and critical. But now that Sprint offers it, now you’ll be making use of it.

          Puh-lease. Go back to S4GRU with that head-in-the-sand mentality.

        • Fabian Cortez

          OH well I can’t imagine how hard it is to please you in real life. I feel sorry for you.

          The only one who deserves pity is you since you continue to pay for subpar service in 2015.

          Sprint should be paying you to use their excuse for service in this day and age.

      • Willie D

        You dont need to offer 2G technology to limit the speed to 2G-like speeds.

    • calvin200

      Baby steps

      • Fabian Cortez

        REALLY?!

        18 months later after the groundwork has been laid and all you can say is “baby steps?”

        Wireless in the United States is a cutthroat business. Sprint had 18 months to literally copy and paste what T-Mobile offered.

        • Willie D

          Sprint even used to offer a full speed unlimited international data plan (offered in ANY of the nations they had roaming agreements with, which at the time was nearly 200) for $40 per month. They killed it off, and took it away from even grandfather clausing because it was an “add-on”. Yeah! So I cant give kudos to Sprint for doing this route, even if it is free, cause their previous offer was better.

        • Fabian Cortez

          So it seems like Sprint is competing with itself instead of competing with the industry.

          It’s all clear now, lol.

        • calvin200

          What do you want me to say, “Sprint is amazing for doing something that T-Mobile is already doing”? Right direction, but slow and awkward—baby steps.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Amazing + Sprint don’t go in the same sentence.

          Do you think Sprint is doing this because it cares about its customers? Because if they did, this would have been out a long time ago. Or speeds would have been twice or three times as fast as T-Mobile’s or there’d be more countries on the list.

          Do you have an address for that utopia?

        • calvin200

          You’re picking fighs just to have them happenn Bye

        • Fabian Cortez

          You’re picking fighs just to have them happenn Bye

          No, you are by replying 10 days later and even replying at all.

          I’m dealing with facts whereas you prefer to deal with hopes, dreams, and emotions.

        • calvin200

          Let’s just put it this way. You turned a mildly condescending observation towards Sprint “baby steps” into, and I’m paraphrasing because I don’t see this comment anymore, “Sprint and amazing should not be in the same sentence”. The word amazing was never meant to describe Sprint. You were being a petty person. That’s cool. Hope it works for you.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Let’s just put it this way. You turned a mildly condescending observation towards Sprint “baby steps” into, and I’m paraphrasing because I don’t see this comment anymore, “Sprint and amazing should not be in the same sentence”. The word amazing was never meant to describe Sprint. You were being a petty person. That’s cool. Hope it works for you.

          What happened to “bye” due to me “picking fighs?”

          Yet you’re continuing on about something that is insignificant (64 kbps, 15 countries, 18 months late, etc.).

        • calvin200

          No that’s done and over because I said what I needed to say. I was calling you out. Know the difference.

        • Fabian Cortez

          No that’s done and over because I said what I needed to say. I was calling you out. Know the difference.

          And you’re still going at it? Eleven (11) days later…

          Again, what happened to that “bye?”

        • calvin200

          I’m at work now, I can point you out all day long (as long as I get my work done).

        • Fabian Cortez

          I’m at work now, I can point you out all day long (as long as I get my work done).

          Sure you can. Especially on an article that’s 11 days old that you continue to reply to.

          Unless you have something relevant to the topic at hand, I suggest you take your own advice and just “bye.”

        • calvin200

          Yes, I do have something relevant to say. Don’t assune.

        • thepanttherlady

          Enough. This particular conversation ends here.

    • Willie D

      Sprint 2G speeds are based on 1xRTT technology, which is UP TO 64kbps according to them. Sprint jumps up to EVDO technology after that, which is 300kbps-1.4mbps and upward per revision.
      Since EDGE is technically a 2G technology, seen by most as 2.5G, T-Mobile is able to quote 128kbps, because the customer base on T-Mobile is using more EDGE than GPRS (56kbps), thus it’s own standard of 2G is EDGE more than GPRS. So they have not only faster 2G speeds, but since all your roaming is done on GSM networks and majority of companies have upgraded to EDGE and UMTS and HSPA networks, your speed is naturally faster. Sprint on the other hand, is still going to roam on CDMA in all nations it can FIRST, THEN GSM SECOND, if available. Thus the lower speeds.

    • Trevnerdio

      In about 1/7 the countries, too :D

  • tguy

    I travel a lot and between South America, Europe, and next month Australia tmobiles plan gives me just enough service to be able to find my way around and not become to focused on social media while on vacation I love it

  • Third_Eye

    I used TMo international roaming in India when I was there during the 3 weeks July-Aug 2014.
    It is not as bad as ppl make out to be. Speeds definitely are above 64 kbps more in the 125-150 kbps range.
    I used it to text to my parents and relatives locally. Updating statuses.
    I got my standard Yahoo, Gmail, hotmail notifications without problems. Yes it took some time for heavy images to open but bearable.
    At that time my LG G2 was in EIP (Still is) and hence locked to TMobile.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Yeah.

      Have fun doing that on Sprint at a limit of 64 kbps.

      Then again, Sprint customers won’t be doing that in India because India isn’t kn their roaming list. To add insult to injury, Sprint Wi-Fi calling will not work in India.

  • Lou

    It was very bad when I used it in Buenos Aires, but was very good when I used it in Lima, Peru

  • Wilde

    It was surprisingly fast for me when I was in Yucatan, Mexico. I could check my facebook, upload photos, and see photos fairly easily. Much better than stateside 2G

  • steveb944

    Personally, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened. I’m able to fully function making phone calls with VOIP services sounding crystal clear, running Google Maps to not get lost, and finally doing some basic Google searches. You’re not going to be wasting your time watching YouTube overseas, tho I’ve done it with lower quality, as well as streaming music and it was just okay.

    I’ve used it in South America and throughout Europe, it’s the best. One of the people on my plan actually used almost 1GB of data because she was on her wedding/honeymoon overseas and she LOVED IT.

    I’m glad Sprint is coming into it because it brings competition and keeps T-Mobile on their toes. But Sprint should have built up their partners because that’s a really mediocre announcement.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Or they should have at least offered twice the data speeds (256 kbps).

      Now that would have kept T-Mobile on their toes.

      • Justin Smith

        That would’ve been too expensive for the two carriers

        • Fabian Cortez

          They’re both paying top dollar for ETFs and EIPs and both offering free 128 kbps unlimited international roaming.

          I dont think doubling it to 256 kbps would’ve been too much.

          The limited roaming on AT&T is a clear indication of how high AT&T rates are. Especially when you consider how much of the farm T-Mobile gives away.

  • thatguy

    I’ve used the hell out of T-Mobile 2G in Europe. Saves tons of money! It’s super thoughtful and convenient, to be able to access maps or any info needed right away. T-Mobile has REALLY stepped their game since Legere took office.

  • Ryan M.

    At the time, while in Germany a few years ago, the 2G was actually super good and I had no problems using any app. Even while in Prague, Google Maps worked fantastically to help navigate those sinuous streets by foot. I kind of remember that sometimes I was on 3G, “limited” to 2G speeds. But it didn’t really feel that way.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Exactly! You’re connected to a 3G network at reduced speeds versus being connected to a 2G network.

      Now try the same thing using Sprint’s roaming at half the speeds (64 kbps vs. 128 kbps). That’s not going to be a good experience.

      Anyone remember 56 kbps dialup?

    • Trevnerdio

      That lower ping is essential

  • Ray

    I’ve only used it twice in London during the 2014 New Year’s holiday and two months after that. It’s definitely usable, but I haven’t been able to stream music unlike some. Saved myself from getting lost too!

  • Henry Pham

    It was great in Cancun, Mexico. In a big resort with spotty WiFi, it was a savior for communicating with each other. And when we left the resort, Google Maps and Web browsing was very usable. Also, it was great knowing we could still make a call if needed without being charged an arm and a leg. My wife had to make some calls for work. Total added charges after the trip? $1.80.

    I wish Sprint offered this then, because my friends on Sprint couldn’t communicate with us when they were off WiFi (which was often).

    Now I just need T-Mobile to add Vietnam back by the time we’re there at the end of the year!

    • Kit Pogi

      I was uploading Instagram pics and videos while on a Island in Thailand :-) …3G speeds can’t complain. GO TMO!

      • eAbyss

        3G and 4G are throttled to “2G speeds”… You do get the lower pings though.

    • Willie D

      Vietnam isn’t something T-Mobile has their hand in. That was done by the government of Vietnam cracking down on communications. Think, North Korea in that aspect. Not quite sure what happened or what will happen, but Vietnam is having some issue with the government regarding mobile foreign devices. If the government opens it back up to foreign use, T-Mobile will come back in with roaming I am sure.

      • Henry Pham

        For a country slated to be the next Asian tiger, you’d think they’d figure this stuff out by now.

        • pda96

          Commies. You gotta love them… NOT!!

        • eAbyss

          Socialists yes…commies no.

  • ericdabbs

    I still think its better late than never. IMO this is great for Sprint and the wireless carrier industry. The idea is to have another major carrier provide free international text and data roaming so that it puts pressure on Verizon and AT&T to offer the same features.

    Even the revered Legere has said countless times in his Uncarrier keynotes that he doesn’t care if the other major carriers copies the Uncarrier moves because all he cares about is changing the industry. Anyone who thinks Sprint offering this same feature as a bad thing is delusional. Its called competition and Sprint felt like they needed to add free international data and text roaming to compete so they did.

    • Mary

      I’m sorry, but T-Mobile will always be way better than Sprint on any giving day. Sprint has poor reception/download speeds.

      • Willie D

        Not to mention poor customer service, bad management, horrible tech support, the list goes on and on. Sprint “listens” to customers, but the way they listen is to the most annoying way – they convolute everything. We ask for them to keep unlimited data, they then do, but they also take away 200mb of allocated roaming, limit video to 1mbps, to do it. We ask for equipment payment plans, so they come up with one, but then a week later change it, then a month later change that one too. Ask for better plans, they give them, but then require you to jump through hoops to get it, add a line and get off a contract price, etc. They have to just bite the bullet, lose the money and let customers have what they need, ask for, and want. That is how you gain loyalty. Loyalty = longer service customers = more cash = happier Sprint. So good luck with offering 15 countries, a vast number of them are not the most frequently travelled countries for Americans anyway.

    • Fabian Cortez

      You should be thanking John Legere and T-Mobile instead of thanking Sprint.

      • ericdabbs

        No doubt about it…I do thank Legere for the idea. However Marcelo has to be thanked as well for actually incorporating that idea for its customers. This type of program is months and months in the making. Marcelo didn’t just wake up 3 days ago…made 2 phone calls and then bam free international data. I have yet to see Verizon and AT&T step up to the plate and offer the free international data roaming even though those companies have the money to pull it off so that in itself gives kudos to Marcelo. No IFs, ANDs, or BUTs about it. Companies in other industries take ideas from their competition all the time. This isn’t anything new.

        What people don’t realize is that Marcelo so far has also done a way better job than Hesse did with making bold moves to try to compete with the other carriers and hasn’t even been on the job for 1 year.

        I do hope Legere and Tmobile continue to make more and more Uncarrier moves and am rooting for them to do so because that just means the wireless carriers have to adopt to it later on. Just because one carrier comes up with a great idea doesn’t mean the other wireless carriers shouldn’t do the same.

        • Fabian Cortez

          No one is talking about AT&T and Verizon because they’re still adding subs. and raking in the dough.

          Marcelo can be commended for implementing this plan because he didn’t have to. But it’s not competitive at all. And if you truly want to talk about time frames, you’re telling me Sprint needed 18 months to get 15 random (yes, random – there’s not a single complete continent being represented) countries together at 64 kbps? Can Sprint not work on making deals concurrently? I guess it takes one month to secure one country/deal. :massiveeyeroll

          What people don’t realize is that Marcelo so far has also done a way better job than Hesse did with making bold moves to try to compete with the other carriers and hasn’t even been on the job for 1 year.

          Oh I see, so we reward and congratulate garbage++ in comparison to garbage? So in essence, Sprint is internally competing with itself. That’s defintely the way to be the “new disrupters in the industry.”

          Honestly, Marcelo needs to stop talking because he’s writing checks that can’t be cashed. Sure, John Legere is very vocal, unconventional, and unprofessional at most times, but at least he can back it up. In other words, John rarely opens his mouth unless he’s able to back it up. That’s what smart people do, regardless of their methods.

          Just because one carrier comes up with a great idea doesn’t mean the other wireless carriers shouldn’t do the same.

          Correct. However, this isn’t remotely near the same. In fact is worse on all fronts.

          Here, I’ll make it easy for Sprint: copy + paste T-Mobile initiatives and add 1. No one cares if you copy someone. Just as long as you one-up them.

  • tirtawn

    Its great. I am able to use it in Asia e.g. HKG, Thailand, SGP. Whatsapp and gmail works fine but definitely not for youtube.

  • Seabass

    It was great while i was using it in Mexico, It even worked better that Tmo’s Edge here in the USA. I was able to browse some websites and use facebook. It was slow with pictures but they did load, videos it did take longer to load and i was surprised some of the small video files worked.

  • calvin200

    Thank you TMobile.

  • Willie D

    I used T-Mobile Simple Global in the UK, when I was in London and Wellingborough, on 3UK for most of the trip, though I did manage to see it move over to “T-Mobile” on my phone via the EE network in a few places, but it refused to connect to Orange, and only briefly in Wellingborough did I see it attach, literally for an hour, to O2. The speeds were 2G alright, between 50-120kbps, but overall, it got the simple job done. I didn’t really wait for my device too long to upload a photo to Facebook, Twitter, etc. I had no problems with email or texts. And even used Google Maps, as long as it was in MAP mode and not SATELLITE I was good. I would be frustrated if this was my everyday connection, but since it was a vacation and the apps I used to communicate with friends back home, as well as in London, the service was definitely usable, and worth the free price. I was able to stream some 32-64kbps streaming radio stations, but anything beyond that really got cut off.
    In Paris, I was connected to Bouygues which was the same experience, maybe a little faster than 3UK. but it all in all seemed to be no issues. Even had service for most of the Chunnel, one direction it was Bouygues, the other it said “EE” on it, once we came out of the tunnel, it reattached to 3UK.

  • dtam

    It was exactly what I needed when I was in Canada with a rental car. Google maps works just fine with those speeds and checking a couple of websites was fine

  • Robert Glickler

    I use T-mo often overseas and it is sometimes painful but usually fantastic. I use it for real-time translation services since I do not speak Czech or Polish but I like visit many smaller places where tourists do not usually go. This works great. Maps are OK, but getting restaurant reviews and suggestions is a long wait. As long as you give some consideration to what you are doing and not expect LTE performance then it is smooth sailing.

  • dexi

    it is kind of frustrating using such a slow connection. But on the other hand “Hey, I can use the Internet for free while I’m roaming”.

    • Frankwhitess

      How is it frustrating ?? If your using sprint already, 2G speeds abroad and Sprint speed here in the states are exactly alike… Both speeds are slow as a snail..

      At least you are used to slow speed with sprint… So if you travel, you won’t be in much pain being that you are already use to slow speeds..

      • dexi

        I’ve never experienced Sprint. most of my life I spent in Europe and their networks was usually fast and reliable. Now I am faithful to T-Mobile. Therefore I am accustomed to the fast Internet.

  • Stefan Naumowicz

    Not even Canada?

    • Frankwhitess

      Nope!!! That’s how Sprint operates.. Lmao..

    • eAbyss

      You mean America lite?

  • JTrip

    “limited to 2G/EDGE speeds”

    Isn’t that the standard with Sprint anyway? That’s if you can get a signal.

    • Clippers FANactic

      LMFAO!

    • Frankwhitess

      Lmfaoooo !!!!

    • KingCobra

      LOL

    • gmo8492

      Yeah, I was lucky to even make one phone call when I had Sprint 4 years ago. My buddy who has Sprint still can’t make a call from my house…lol

  • SCSI

    I didn’t realize that the speed is limited to 2G/3G while roaming in other countries. I was in the Philippines last year and roaming on my LG G2 had very fast internet.

    • eAbyss

      It may connect to faster networks but the data is throttled to “2G speeds”.

  • Trevnerdio

    So…yeah, a bit off topic, but Cam, my ad blocker is reporting 38 ads blocked on this site. That is quite a bit, my friend.

    • Frankwhitess

      Dude… Why are you disturbed with Cam making his money… Let the man make is paper so he can pay bills… If it wasnt for them Ad’s,… This site would not be working… So easy with ad’s attacks…

      • Trevnerdio

        I have absolutely no problem with ads. It’s when they get to be too much and in your face. That’s when they need to be toned down.

        • Frankwhitess

          Really?! Come on.. Just scroll down…. Question : are you on sprint or t mobile ??

        • Trevnerdio

          sorry, I just can’t stand popup ads.
          And T-Mobile, Note Edge. How about yourself?

        • Frankwhitess

          Am with T mobile… Note 3.. :)

        • iMotoXperiaGalaxy

          2013 phone? Step your game up! U will never be at the top of the food chain with a plastic phone from 2 years ago.

          LMAO!!

        • What if I told you that you dying need to have the latest gadget to climb the corporate ladder? Assuming that that’s what you mean, lest you be a shallow person meaning social climbing.

        • Frankwhitess

          Lmaooooo……. Listen,.. Am waiting for the note 5… No way I can buy the note 4 with the note 5 coming out rite around the corner..

        • iMotoXperiaGalaxy

          So whenever someone has a problem with T-Mobile or this unofficial fanboy site, they have to be a Sprint customer?

        • Frankwhitess

          Lol… Do you really want me to answer that? Lol… But i ask just out of curiosity…

  • Omar Boyer

    Hope sprint offers better roaming in mexico tru TELCEL so far i have never been to connect to TELCEL with my tmobile phone ,its always MOVISTAR ,movistar is not that good in mexico city and michoacan u go in a store “No service” travel outside the city no service , My mom on her att phone roams on telcel and has service in all the stores movistar has nothing and outside the city. I dont get it even tho my tmobile phone would find telcel on the available networks i was never able to connect to it .

    • Blackberry

      Try selecting the network manually (I can do it in my blackberry classic so I assume you can too) and then you can pick TELCEL. Take care.

      • Omar Boyer

        you are lucky cuz on the tmobile xperia z3 i couldnt do that believe me i tried . Phone would just get stuck on movistar and when movistar wasnt available sometimes i would get IUSACELL but never TELCEL it would switch on its own i couldnt select any networks manually . Now i have a tmobile Lg G3 ,took it to mexico for the first time a month ago same thing doesnt let me choose networks manually it switches on its own and it usually prefers movistar. Only reason i want telcel is cuz they do offer better in building coverage .

  • iMotoXperiaGalaxy

    Just another flame-bait article for the fanboys…

    • Frankwhitess

      Verizon fan boy on deck lol…

      • iMotoXperiaGalaxy

        My iPad Air 2 is from Verizon. My apple products get the best treatment sooo…. U mad?

        • Frankwhitess

          Now why would I be mad?? If you are okay with paying out the ass for Verizon then I too am okay with it…… lol.. Hey, unfortunately in life there needs to be suckers.. And if that’s the path you have decided to follow, then I am happy for you ;)

        • eAbyss

          He’s an Apple user. What do you expect? He’s used to paying out the ass for only a name.

        • Mike Palomba

          I’ll admit that a few years ago people payed for the apple name. But today iPhones are actually great phones and cost the same as other flagships like the galaxy s6 and lg g3. I was an android user until the iPhone 5s came out and I have never looked back. I am not someone who cares about the name. I care about the functionality. And in my opinion IOS is far more fluid and quick then android. Not everyone buys apple products for the name. On the other hand, people who have Verizon usually have it just for the name, it allows them to say they have “the best coverage”

        • Frankwhitess

          I have to say that I agree with you when it comes to Apple device now being much better than back in the days, But, I find it amazing how a lot of folks have i phone and when you go thru there I phone, you find a massive amount of Google Apps… From YouTube, Google maps, G mail app, to even Google search and hangout…..

          At times I ask my self why would folks just get a Andriod or a Nexus and call it a day… Just saying food for thought :)

        • Mike Palomba

          I personally haven’t used any google apps other then drive since I got rid of my android, but some people like using google apps and having FaceTime, iMessage, etc. there are definitely people Who buy iPhones just for the Apple name, just like some people buy the galaxy because of the Samsung name, etc.

        • Frankwhitess

          Dam… Your Rite.. Admitting some one is correct is hard for me but you are rite my friend…

  • I am abroad right now and, even at 2G, it’s a life saver. Getting Google maps at the airport and being able to confidently switch trains twice to get to the hotel and then do some brief sightseeing is priceless. Literally priceless, since it’s free.

    Yes, I cannot do some things at these speeds. However, today I checked email and blog feeds (including this one’s), sent and received texts, got a call about a rather urgent matter from someone who didn’t know that I was abroad, all without wallet pain.

    Though I normally don’t carry a Simple Choice plan, since there are no contacts at T-Mobile, before I travel abroad, I sign up for a few months and then go back to prepaid.

    What other carrier is so easy to work with? If only all carriers were un-carrier! Sprint is on the right track, even if as a follower. Kudos to T-Mobile for leading the industry and to Sprint for improving its offering to its customers.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Moreover, though I normally don’t carry a Simple Choice plan, since there are no contacts at T-Mobile, before I travel abroad, I sign up for a few months and then go back to prepaid.

      We know you’re the prepaid guy on here, but really?!

      Are you that cheap that you’re planning on going back to prepaid after bitching months ago about the lack of prepaid love?

      • To save over $20 a month, yes, call me cheap. Then again, you already did. :-)

  • 9767070

    I bought a device and added a plan precisely for this a couple months after this new free feature was introduced. It was pure fukin fail. It was annoying as hell having roaming data not work. I even took the extra step of calling customer service, before the trip, explaining the trip and I specifically asked if I needed to do anything before traveling. The idiot customer service rep said that nothing was necessary and that we were good to go. Anyway, I teach my relatives how the device works and how to connect to it and off they go. Long story short the service did not work.

    Only bright side (at the time) is T-Mobile refunded that months recurring charge. They didn’t know why it didn’t work. So months later I learn that the device, a mobile hotspot, has to be setup to work abroad. Idiots at T-Mobile should know this. They sell and advertise the damn service, so they should know how to support the damn service. It was a real disappointment.

    There is a happy ending though. A few moths after getting the device T-Mobile offered the service for free for 12 months. Lol, I bought it for the international feature and end up getting unexpectedly free data for a year! Ironically for domestic use.

    • Life

      Poor soul, no data at all while traveling? At least it gave you a sense of adventure, not being connected to Web and all. What did we do when we didn’t have cell phones and an “always on” connection. I bet we would all be dead if we didn’t have these conveniences nowadays.

      • 9767070

        You can’t possibly be iliterate, so let’s just say you are just stupid. If you weren’t so dumb, you would have understood it wasn’t for me but for relatives – I literally wrote that. Also, it’s only 2G speeds dummy so no one is staying in during international travel, especially when there’s no need to rush to homebase when you can be mobile and check in via iMessage while abroad. Damn you are dumb, mobile data has the potential to make travel more interesting and adventurous. Imagine translating a quick phrase if you find yourself where the locals don’t speak the language? No problem with a quick google translate and acces to the Internet.

        Use your brain more and I doubt you have been to a fith of the places I’ve travelled you dumb shite.

        • Jason R

          For someone who’s travelled around and is a wordly sophisticate of our times you sure have a way of sounding like poor trailer trash. I assume the vocabulary and proper etiquette lessons or any sense of class wasn’t given to you with the airplane ticket? Heh

        • 9767070

          Hey Jason, I travel coach, and not first class. Doing so has allowed me to travel to more cities. Now if that idiot wasn’t so stupid, I wouldn’t have replied to him so directly. I could care less if you think I have class or not – you are a nobody to me. Welcome to the World Wide Web.

  • JAGA

    I went to the philippines last year. It was really really good!

    • PinoyKaBa

      Good to know! Visiting next year!

  • josephsinger

    Well, it’s sort of typical. The competition offers a poor copy of a program that T-Mobile offers and withdraw it a couple months later.

  • jim

    when i took my tmobile phone to seoul and singapore last month. my phone turned to 3G and it kept showing 3G. So i don’t know what you mean by 2g roaming

    • SouthPhillyPT

      I think T-Mobile will allow at least 2G roaming speed as the minimum and can definitely go to 3G since I have experienced this myself.

    • KingCobra

      It can show 3G and LTE but the speeds themselves are throttled to 2G. Though you can still benefit from the lower pings of LTE.

  • SouthPhillyPT

    I have used T-Mobile in Italy and it worked fine for texts and for email. I also used it for Facebook posts. At times, data speeds are faster than 2G/EDGE approaching 3G. It is surprising too that EDGE speeds outside of Philadelphia are slower compared to Tuscany, Italy.

    • Fabian Cortez

      It is surprising too that EDGE speeds outside of Philadelphia are slower compared to Tuscany, Italy.

      That’s because the tower outside of Philadelphia that you’re connecting to is 2G only whereas in Italy, you’re connected to a 3G tower with speeds reduced to 2G speeds.

      It’s important to understand the differences.

  • Edwin Collado

    Being a flight attendant and T-Mobile customer for a little over 10 years I have to say this was the best thing T-Mobile has done! Texts work flawlessly, data speeds are slow but the best part is the 20 cents a minute calls. In a pinch a 5 minute call is only $1 compared to the old roaming rates that’s just amazing!

    • eAbyss

      You can save some money by using WiFi calling. International WiFi calling to and from the US is free. All WiFi calls made outside the US to other countries outside the US are billed at the same international roaming rate as cellular ($0.20 per minute) though.

  • KingCobra

    Good for Sprint and its customers. This is competition at work folks. Now hopefully this can help pressure AT&T/VZW to make a move.

  • Mike Thaler

    Couple of points:
    1. Sprint can’t bargain effectively w. other countries because the can’t offer foreigners roaming on their system because it isn’t GSM.
    2. What Sprint phones can be used to roam outside the U.S. and Canada – only main countries that use CDMA?

    • IceMan

      Sprint phones support GSM capabilities. I’ve used a few on T-Mobile and AT&T before. But you’re right about it going the other way. Many GSM-based phones simply do not support CDMA capabilities so Sprint cannot return the roaming agreements.

  • TMONC

    I’m sorry to go off topic, but you haven’t hit on this because it’s breaking right now Cam.

    What in the actual fuck is Donald Trump’s problem on Twitter?! Go. Look at John Legere vs. Trump on Twitter happening right now.

  • Acdc1a

    The T-Mobile roaming service works great! Speeds are usable for e-mail and even Google Maps. I wish they would add the Bahamas.

    • Regan Lay

      The reason for the Bahamas absence from the T-Mobile roaming roster is because the cruise ship industry controls most of the economy and they love getting their $5.99 per minute!

      • Acdc1a

        There’s also a HUGE set of folks that travel regularly between the islands both from the Bahamas and from the US. For those people it would be nice not to have to travel with 2 devices. For me? It’s WiFi calling on the 6 or 7 times I go each year.

  • Arthur

    I have been a T-Mobile user for years now for the very simple fact that they would unlock the phone for me for free. That was a big help years ago. Also, last year I did try their Free International Data Roaming and I was very, very happy. I used it in Turkey (3G), France (3G), Austria (3G) and Germany (3G). It was surprisingly good especially considering you didn’t have to pay anything extra for it. I simply loved it.

  • Acardoso

    I actually spent the summer in Brazil and had great 3G speeds in Porto Alegre and Curitiba. It really helped us be able to navigate with google maps and have access to email and such.

  • Sam

    Used T-mobile data service in S. Korea, it was great 4G most of the time. I am an happy customer.

  • jj201367

    sprint will never catch up to tmobile. sprint just totally is bad. i’ve used my data over seas before and i didn’t have to pay any extra on 3g it was awesome

  • Regan Lay

    The data speed is NOT limited to 2G! T-Mobile only guarantees 2G speeds. Many countries have T-Mo roaming partners that offer T-Mo customers 3 and 4G speeds.

    • eAbyss

      I’m pretty sure those connections are throttled to “2G speeds” though…

    • eAbyss

      I’m pretty sure those connections are throttled to “2G speeds” though…

      • gmo8492

        People are saying that in some countries they still get great speeds that are specifically not throttle all the way down to 2G. I assume some networks don’t prioritize their connections properly and that would mean why some tmo customers still get decent data speeds.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Ping times are modern networks make 2G speeds feel fast in comparison to being connected to 2G networks like T-Mobile’s 2G-only cell sites in this country.

  • carlos serrano

    I usually use tmobile in Mexico and it’s really slow, even frustrating at times, but texting works great

  • Jeffrey Wang

    I have had three very different roaming experiences on T-Mobile Simple Global and another when they didn’t have it yet.

    1. Not-So-Simple Global, Canada: It was terrible! Only at Niagara Falls did I turn off airplane mode hesitantly! Not using phone service was terrible.
    2. Simple Global, China: Hey, we had text and data – not complaining! First it connected me to China Mobile (which only lets you go on its EDGE network due to phone band constraints). A week later I tried China Unicom and it bumped me up to 3G!! YAY! (It wasn’t the best improvement but it was good enough for me!) The Chinese people I were with were so jealous of my unlimited talk, text, and carrier-switching abilities!
    3. Simple Global, Mexico: While driving on I-10 east of El Paso, a stretch of the highway is close enough to Mexico to get Movistar 3G but has no service on T-Mobile. All phones in the car switched over to Movistar and we were “welcomed” to Mexico. Other than using a foreign cellular network, it sucked since we were moving.
    4. Simple Global, Canada: By far my best experience ever on Simple Global. Like others, Google Maps with outlines worked well, and navigation in the rental car was a breeze. The roaming provider, Rogers, is fairly compatible with T-Mobile US’s LTE bands, and within a few days, I was on Rogers’s LTE network! The speeds were throttled but the ping time was quick and the lack of latency allowed me to enjoy the power of free roaming.

    I’m excited to try out Wi-Fi calling in a foreign country, especially one where Sprint says “it’s illegal to Wi-Fi call.” Seriously?

  • Scam the plan

    Road trip to Toronto .T-Mobile offers a great feature called Wi-Fi calling… They also offer free international data for phones and and tablets. So I take my Nexus 7 and throw my self hot spot, and connect my phone to wi fi only calls. So now As I drive up the 401 I can make calls and internet at no charge.

    • Jeffrey Wang

      I always wondered if that would work… apparently it does!

  • Cam Fas

    Sprint has better nascar coverage then their network

  • JustSaying

    Did anyone see John Legere’s twitter!?! Donald Trump started a fight with John Legere! Trump is an idiot! hahaha! Legere checked out of his hotel.

    • Frankwhitess

      Noo way! I wonder why did they fight…… I bet anything John noticed Donald had Verizon and John couldn’t help him self and told Donald what a fool he was for having Verizon for a network… Lol..

      You guys have to admit, there are a boat load of people that have Verizon, pay out the butt for next to no perks, and making matters worst, 99.9% of the time they don’t even leave the city or area that they are mostly are in…..

      It just disturbing..

      • Hector Arteaga

        Coverage Phobia is all too real.

        • Hector Arteaga

          Didn’t realize there was already a term for this:
          Nomophobia

    • gmo8492

      Thanks, Trump is such a tool.

  • ccieb52

    It works even on top of mountain in China…to be precise on Great Wall of China ! I post my photo directly on WhatApps and got respond from all friend immediately. Amazing feeling to stay connected even u’re far away from home. Wifi calling is FREE from anywhere in the WORLD, including China…so i don’t pay a single penny with T-Mobile, The WORLD is your NETWORK !

  • Pouya Barrach-Yousefi

    I’ve been living in Paris for a year and traveling throughout Europe and I’ve kept my T-mobile phone and plan the whole time.

    The only issue I’ve had is local providers keep kicking me off their network and I’m forced to reconnect. This happens countless times in a day.

    • Sspone

      I guess you’ve chosen “Manual” network switching mode. Turn it to “Automatic” and you should be golden!

      • This is what I realized when I was trying to micromanage the network selection. It’s better to leave it to the phone to do this automatically.

    • Jeffrey Wang

      According to T-Mobile, they can always terminate your line for “excessive roaming.” I’m surprised this hasn’t happened yet, and I’m happy it hasn’t. Maybe I could get away with doing the same thing!

  • gmo8492

    Off topic, Cam publish the epic twitter fight John Legere had with Donald Trump. Those tweets almost made me cry… Lol

  • posito75

    I went to Santiago Chile earlier in the year and stayed for 2 weeks on business. As soon as I landed T-Mobile sent me a text message saying texts and data are free! It was great to send texts back to my wife without a problem. I even sent pictures of my time there. Very happy with T-Mobile.

  • DWC1

    T-Mobile slowed speeds are very usable because you connect mostly to a 3G and sometimes an LTE signal. That offers access to a fat pipe of data that is slowed down. Very unlike the experience when you only connect to a 2G signal with a skinny pipe behind it that just is unable to keep flowing. The TMO throttle works brilliantly for everything you need except steaming video. It is VERY useable.

  • Kevin Fanciulli

    Went to Nicaragua for a week February 2014 and the free international roaming worked great. In fact, I had better speeds than on Sprint’s 3G in parts of Denver just a few months prior. Even in the most rural parts of the country we traversed through I still had signal and data connectivity. I had planned ahead and pre-downloaded the map tiles in Google Maps before I went which helped a lot.

    As I’ve spent more time on T-Mobile back home (Colorado), I’m continually amazed at how bad signal is here compared to a place like Nicaragua which is terribly poor in a majority of the country. Almost anywhere outside of Denver I have zero data connectivity. Yesterday I roamed on ‘Union Telephone’ near Winter Park and had 0.05mb up/0.05mb down with a ping over 1000ms. Head east of Denver and there’s a FOUR HOUR stretch of interstate with zero data whatsoever.

  • Ozgur Sen

    T mobiles international 2g speed is limited to 128 kb
    Sprints is limited to 64kb

    • TylerCameron

      That’s 3G speed for Sprint customers.

      • Ozgur Sen

        I wasn’t even talking about 3g I’m talking about unlimited roaming. The phone may say that it’s on 3g or 4g but it’s speed is throttled down.
        To get 3g or 4g speeds you have to pay extra

      • Ozgur Sen

        Sprint does not have unlimited 3g roaming.

  • Joe Menard

    Hello I am currently studying abroad in Strasbourg France and I can tell you that my experience with the unlimited 2g data has been amazing! I have been here for 8 months and while it does have slow speeds it is just fast enough to use apps like google maps, Facebook, WhatsApp, hangouts etc. I’ve successfully been able to make calls over google voice as well as stream music on soundcloud and google play (if quality settings are set to low) Ive been all over Europe this year and the only places ive had sub par data was in Rome where I would have data not work at unpredictable times.

    I’ve been to
    Berlin
    Budapest
    Prague
    Munich
    Frankfurt
    Lisbon
    Barcelona
    Paris (disney)
    Rome
    Venice
    Florence
    Milan
    & Bardonecchia.

    all while using a Nexus 5 and half way through the year I upgraded to the 6 (went home for Christmas) it was so nice to walk off of the plane and have data and texting work! It was a real life saver!!

  • Joshua lapin

    As a few people have suggested, please make a post about the twitter feud between John legere and Donald Trump.

  • Philip

    Last month I transit in Moscow and travel to Malaysia and Singapore. T-mobile data roaming works! The max speed is 15kbps up/down for me. Max is 3G, but I sure didnt see 128kbps as they say. Using Whatsapp and Google Map works fine. Surfing need to wait a few minutes. My email work just fine. Thanks T-mobile!

    • Fabian Cortez

      Bits or bytes?

  • jim

    Just came back from Jamaica two weeks ago free data and text 20 cents for call what more can I ask for well free calls would be good but hey I love my tmobile

  • Timothy Poplaski

    “is one of the biggest pain points for customers”…? Maybe overseas, but in the USA, few people travel internationally, and for most that do, it’s only a few times in their lives, if it’s even more than once.

    I do know of a couple of people that switched to T-Mobile specifically for the international roaming before a trip. So it is a draw for some and I’m sure has brought T-Mobile customers.

    But for the other ninety-something percent of people, it’s a complete non-issue. Rural roaming here in the USA is a much much bigger pain point.

    • dtam

      when I traveled to Europe for my honeymoon 2 years back (before the free data roaming), it was definitely a pain point. the hotel didn’t have free wifi so we had to go across the street to the mall to use their wifi. I researched into getting a sim there but apparently it takes 2 days before it’s activated. Knowing that you can at least get something is a really good feeling.

      Of course back to your major point, in the US it is definitely a bigger pain point. But at least they’re working on it

  • colonelcasey

    Traveled to Japan and Hong Kong earlier this year and I was pleasantly surprised that the slowest speed tier they offered was 3G. It was perfect for some moderate web browsing and Facebook. Apparently both countries got rid of 2G a while back so there’s no need to deal with a terrible EDGE connection.

    Macau was still stuck on 2G though so it was practically unusable there other than for texting. But overall, I’m very pleased with the international roaming ability.

  • Joshua Goodman

    I happily took advantage of this feature. While speeds can be slow it’s enough to do simple browsing and check-ins, photo upload and an email or something until you get back to the hotel Wi-Fi.

  • unsignedint

    Recently traveled Japan and had chance to this out. My opinion is that as long as data heavy background uploads like Dropbox are turned off, it was quite usable. Even managed to share photo and such without so much of pain. Web browsing on Chrome, coupled with its data compression was bearable and having access to things like Google Maps made my travel far pleasant. tl;dr it was usable and certainly beats not having any connectivity at all.

  • Seabass

    I used T-Mobile’s international roaming in Germany, Austria, and Poland last summer with my iPhone 5. The indicator said “3G” the whole time and it certainly felt like 3G. Web browsing was extremely quick, as was using Snapchat and Facebook. It felt much faster than using EDGE here in the States.