T-Mobile announces free global data and texting for Simple Choice plans, nationwide 4G LTE expansionAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Tonight's the night that T-Mobile introduced phase three of its UnCarrier transformation, and just as expected, the big magenta operator made some pretty major announcements.
First up is the news that T-Mobile is expanding the home data coverage area of its Simple Choice plans to include over 100 additional countries. This means that customers signed up for eligible Simple Choice individual and business plans will get unlimited data and texting in over 100 "Simple Global" countries for no charge. Voice calls in those countries will be charged at a flat rate of 20 cents per minute. A full list of the more than 100 Simple Global countries can be found below.
T-Mobile says that its new unlimited global data and text add-on will be tacked onto eligible Simple Choice plans on Oct. 31. The carrier also notes that its unlimited global data coverage offers 2G data speeds, but customers that'd prefer something a little faster will be able to purchase a Speed Pass add-on at a rate of one day and 100MB for $15, one week and 200MB for $25 or two weeks and 500MB for $50.
In addition to its free global roaming and texting feature, T-Mobile tonight also introduced a new add-on for U.S.-based customers that need to stay in contact with others around the globe. Known as Stateside International Talk & Text, the add-on includes unlimited texting to all of the Simple Global countries as well as calling that'll never be priced at more than 20 cents per minute. T-Mobile also says that calls to landlines in in more than 70 of its Simple Global countries is included for free. The Stateside International Talk & Text feature will be priced at $10 per month.
While T-Mobile's announcements so far have been focused on international usage, the Magenta carrier's final tidbit of news will appeal to consumers that do most data consumption in the U.S. T-Mobile revealed tonight that its 4G LTE network is now "nationwide," covering over 200 million people in 233 metro areas (PDF link). Looking ahead, Legere and Co. will improve their LTE network and boost its speeds by adding 10+10MHz LTE spectrum in 90 percent of the top 25 metro areas by the end of 2013, with plans to roll out 20+20MHz LTE spectrum in 2014 and later.
T-Mobile's UnCarrier moves to date have all been pretty big, and tonight that string of major announcements has continued. The addition of free international data and texting in over 100 countries is big for consumers that do a lot of globetrotting, especially considering how pricey international roaming can be with other carriers. Meanwhile, the news that T-Mobile's LTE service is now live in 233 markets is big for its entire user base, and it's also pretty impressive considering that T-Mobile first flipped the switch on its LTE network in just 7 markets back in late March. So now that we've got all the details of phase three of T-Mobile's UnCarrier transformation, which of tonight's announcements are you most excited about?