Home Industry News T-Mobile Expands Roaming Agreements, Makes Data and Texts Free in 210 Countries

T-Mobile Expands Roaming Agreements, Makes Data and Texts Free in 210 Countries

Traveling abroad with your smart phone just got so much easier.

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T-Mobile Expands Roaming Agreements, Makes Data and Texts Free in 210 Countries
Even in the remote Maldives, T-Mobile now gives you free text messaging and data with its Simple Global roaming plan.
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For several years now, T-Mobile has offered the most generous international mobile plan on the market. Through its standard ONE, Simple Choice, New Classic and Select Choice Plans, the carrier has offered free data and text messages in 140 countries. Phone calls were billed at $0.20/minute.

However, in dozens of other countries like Tanzania, Fiji, and French Polynesia, which are not part of the coveted 140, that call rate went as high as $5.99/minute and the data rate up to $15/MB.

But, beginning July 22, those pricey rates will change when T-Mobile’s number of Simple Global countries and destinations expands from 154 to 210+.

Here’s what you need to know about the changes and how to use your phone abroad—just like you do at home—and avoid exorbitant roaming overcharges.

What is changing with T-Mobile’s Simple Global roaming plan?

We’ll get the bad news out of the way first.

Starting July 31, 2018 the cost per minute for calls within and between T-Mobile’s Simple Global countries and destinations will increase from $0.20 per minute to $0.25 per minute. This also includes calls from Simple Global countries and destinations to the United States. What this basically means is that anytime you use your phone for telephone calls while abroad (whether calling anywhere or receiving phone calls), you’ll incur charges of $0.25 per minute.

However, considering how little we use our phones for talking these days, this is a small price to pay for the good news! Starting July 22, 2018, T-Mobile is expanding its roaming agreements and the number of Simple Global countries and destinations from 154 to over 210.  This means unlimited text and data usage almost anywhere in the world!

This news is HUGE for those of us who travel often to Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean. These regions were not well represented on T-Mobile’s previous Simple Global roaming plan.

Put simply, we can leave our phones ON the entire time we travel abroad, with minimal risk of accruing charges.

What about other carriers?

A lot of international roaming charges—or lack thereof—will depend on your wireless carrier. AT&T and Verizon have specific roaming packages but nothing like T-Mobile’s Simple Global roaming plan.

I personally switched from AT&T to T-Mobile specifically for the Simple Global roaming plan and have saved thousands of dollars. Though I’m not always happy with T-Mobile’s domestic coverage in the U.S., it’s a lifesaver for those of us who travel abroad frequently.

Which T-Mobile plan to do I need to get Simple Global roaming?

Simple Global roaming, which provides unlimited text and data in 210 countries, is offered through T-Mobile’s standard ONE, Simple Choice, New Classic and Select Choice plans. To see if you have one of these plans—likely you do if you signed up for T-Mobile in the past four years—just login to your account and confirm your plan name. This feature is automatic with these plans and there is no need to call Customer Service to add it.

Note that pay-in-advance plans and No Credit Check plans are excluded from getting Simple Global roaming.

In addition, if you have an older plan with T-Mobile that is not listed above, call in and change to one of T-Mobile’s current plans. It should actually bring your bill down, even if you use exclusively use your phone within the U.S.

So I can use text and data on my phone just like I do at home with Simple Global Roaming?

Yes and no. Standard text messaging, web surfing, e-mail, and social media should work at similar speeds to the U.S.

However, if you are trying to text large pictures and videos, it will take you longer than usual. And don’t try streaming things on your phone. That won’t work.

In Mexico and Canada, look forward to texting and data with up to 5GB at 4G LTE speeds.

In the other 208 countries and destinations, you have unlimited data at up to 128kbps, which can be slow for things other than email and social media. We suggest you add T-Mobile One Plus™ to get up to 256kbps speeds abroad. This service costs a mere extra $10 per month.

In select countries, T-Mobile customers can add on-demand passes to increase their high-speed data up to 4G LTE speeds. These costly passes can be added by the day or week.

What is the full list of 210+ countries and destinations?

For your convenience, the full list can be found below.

Countries can also be found on T-Mobile’s roaming homepage (beginning July 22, 2018). If using the T-Mobile page, simply type in the name of the country, and it will tell you if it’s included in the Simple Global roaming plan.

We recommend checking this website before you travel to see if there have been any additions or subtractions. Also note that any country or destination not listed will incur text messaging charges of $0.50 per text and likely exorbitant data and phone call rates.

Afghanistan Colombia Hong Kong Montenegro Senegal
Aland Islands Congo Hungary Montserrat Serbia
Albania Congo, Democratic Republic Iceland Morocco Seychelles
Alderney Costa Rica India Mozambique Sierra Leone
Algeria Cote d’Ivoire Indonesia Myanmar Singapore
Angola Croatia Iraq Nauru Sint Maarten
Anguilla Curacao Ireland Netherlands Slovakia
Antigua and Barbuda Cyprus Isle of Man Netherlands Antilles Slovenia
Argentina Czech Republic Israel New Zealand South Africa
Armenia Denmark Italy Nicaragua South Korea
Aruba Dominica Jamaica Niger Spain
Australia Dominican Republic Japan Nigeria Sri Lanka
Azerbaijan Easter Island Jersey Northern Ireland Suriname
Azores Ecuador Jordan Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) Svalbard
Bahamas Egypt Kazakhstan Norway Sweden
Bahrain El Salvador Kenya Oman Switzerland
Bangladesh Estonia Kuwait Pakistan Taiwan
Barbados Faroe Islands Kyrgyzstan Palestinian Territories Tajikistan
Belarus Fiji Laos Panama Tanzania
Belgium Finland Latvia Papua New Guinea Thailand
Belize France Liberia Paraguay Togo
Benin French Guiana Lichtenstein Peru Tonga
Bermuda French Polynesia Lithuania Philippines Trinidad and Tobago
Bolivia Gabon Luxembourg Poland Tunisia
Bonaire Gambia Macau Portugal Turkey
Bosnia and Herzegovina Georgia Macedonia Qatar Turkmenistan
Brazil Germany Madagascar Reunion Turks and Caicos Islands
British Virgin Islands Ghana Madeira Romania Uganda
Brunei Darussalam Gibraltar Malawi Russia Ukraine
Bulgaria Greece Malaysia Rwanda United Arab Emirates
Burkina Faso Greenland Maldives Saint Barthelemy United Kingdom
Burundi Grenada Mali Saint Eustatius Uruguay
Cambodia Guadeloupe Malta Saint Kitts and Nevis Uzbekistan
Cameroon Guam Marie Galante Saint Lucia Vatican City
Canada Guatemala Martinique Saint Martin Venezuela
Canary Islands Guernsey Mauritania Saint Saba Vietnam
Cape Verde Guinea Mauritius Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Wales
Cayman Islands Guinea-Bissau Mayotte Samoa Western Sahara
Chad Guyana Mexico San Marino Zambia
Chile Haiti Moldova Sark Island Zimbabwe
China Herm Monaco Saudi Arabia
Christmas Island Honduras Mongolia Scotland
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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 125 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, Private Clubs, and Robb Report.