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.
|Albania||Congo, Democratic Republic||Iceland||Morocco||Seychelles|
|Alderney||Costa Rica||India||Mozambique||Sierra Leone|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Cyprus||Isle of Man||Netherlands Antilles||Slovenia|
|Argentina||Czech Republic||Israel||New Zealand||South Africa|
|Australia||Dominican Republic||Japan||Nigeria||Sri Lanka|
|Azerbaijan||Easter Island||Jersey||Northern Ireland||Suriname|
|Azores||Ecuador||Jordan||Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan)||Svalbard|
|Barbados||Faroe Islands||Kyrgyzstan||Palestinian Territories||Tajikistan|
|Belgium||Finland||Latvia||Papua New Guinea||Thailand|
|Bermuda||French Polynesia||Lithuania||Philippines||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Georgia||Macedonia||Qatar||Turkmenistan|
|Brazil||Germany||Madagascar||Reunion||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|British Virgin Islands||Ghana||Madeira||Romania||Uganda|
|Bulgaria||Greece||Malaysia||Rwanda||United Arab Emirates|
|Burkina Faso||Greenland||Maldives||Saint Barthelemy||United Kingdom|
|Cambodia||Guadeloupe||Malta||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Uzbekistan|
|Cameroon||Guam||Marie Galante||Saint Lucia||Vatican City|
|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|