T-Mobile Gives You Free International Data…at Slow 2G Speeds

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T-Mobile will be eliminating international data and text fees.

Readers often ask about cell phones while traveling so this could help if you use T-Mobile.

T-Mobile International Data
No International Data & Text Fees On T-Mobile…But it is Slow 2G Speeds

T-Mobile International Data

T-Mobile’s new international plan which begins on October 31, 2013eliminates data and text fees in over 100 countries.

You can also get low international calling rates through T-Mobile’s $10 Stateside International Talk and Text plan.  The plan is only valid for US customers calling to other countries.  You get unlimited free calls to landlines in 70 countries and pay 20 cents (or less, depending on the country) on calls to cell phones.

T-Mobile International Data
T-Mobile Will Also Reduce the Price of Voice Calls

And if you don’t opt for the $10 plan, you can pay a flat fee of 20 cents per minute to call internationally in 115 countries.

The lowered calling rates are helpful if you only need to make a few calls and don’t want to buy a SIM card in your destination and put it in your GSM compatible phone.

Pay For Faster Speed

The free international data & text will be at 2G speeds or ~128 KBPS.  So you can check emails or go on Facebook or Twitter, but it will be very slow!

2G speeds won’t be fast enough to stream music or download large photos or if you need to log onto a VPN to do work.

You’ll have to pay for faster speeds.  I suspect this is the main reason why T-Mobile will stop charging for slower 2G speeds.  They want you to experience using your phone abroad and then get you to pay a little more for faster speeds.

They also don’t make as much as the other cell phone companies on international data charges, so T-Mobile can afford to be different this way.

The rates for higher speeds don’t seem very expensive to me, but I don’t use a lot of data on my phone:

  • $15 for 24 hours of high-speed data up to 100 megabytes
  • $20 for 7 days of high-speed data up to 200 megabytes
  • $50 for 14 days of high-speed data up to 500 megabytes

Restrictions

You can only get free international data and text for a maximum of six weeks.   And half of your data use must be in the US.  So you can’t sign up with T-Mobile shortly before your international trip and then expect to have unlimited free international data and text when you had no data usage in the US.

Bottom Line

T-Mobile will eliminate international data and text fees in 100 countries starting October 31, 2013.

The big catch is that you’ll only have free access to the lowest 2G speeds and you can’t exceed half the data usage you normally use in the US.

But this is a good option if you’re traveling internationally on vacation and want to be able to check emails and go on social media.  Just don’t expect to do lots of surfing at those slow speeds!

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