I often write about my experiences with T-Mobile, both the good and the bad.  T-Mobile and Sprint are my favorite wireless carriers due to the strength of their free international roaming offering, even if it’s capped at 2G speed.  Earlier in the week, T-Mobile came out with some changes to its international offering.   Here’s my take on each of them:

1. Free Data Roaming Now Covers Over 210+ Countries/Destinations:

Technically, they’ve added 70 more countries to the original list of 140+.  You can see the full list of countries here.  The coverage for the expanded countries starts 7/22/2018.

There are no downsides; this is a great expansion for customers. Even though fine prints state that T-Mobile limits data to 2G speed, my experience is that I can get 3G speed at most places.

2. Increased calling rate from $.20/minute to $.25/minute (Starts 7/22/2018)

Calling rates have increased from .20 to .25 per minute.  Obviously, the increase in calling rates isn’t great for customers. Still, I think it’s still nice to know that it would cost you $.25 per minute up-front, rather than the old way of trying to figure out the cost per minute depending on the country.

Unless you need to make a lot of calls, I think this change is largely immaterial.  If you expect to be spending a lot of time talking on the phone, there are definitely other cheaper alternatives, such as WIFI-calling over Facebook Voice, or buying the new $5 T-Mobile daily data pass – see below.

3. New $5 T-Mobile Daily Data Pass (Starts 8/1/2018)

A new $5 T-Mobile Daily Data Pass will be available starting on 8/1/2018.

“The new $5 T-Mobile daily data pass gives you 512MB of up to 4G LTE speeds and all the unlimited calls you want to make for 24 hours in all Simple Global countries.”

If you need to make a lot of calls, the unlimited calls on the daily pass is a steal.  If you need faster data, the 512MB high speed on the daily pass isn’t shabby either. You can only buy up to 2 passes, or 1GB of data per day.  If you need a data pass for for a day or two during a trip, this is a good option.

Personally, I don’t think that 512MB is a lot of high-speed data.  I remembered purchasing an 1GB/10 day Data Pass. I was on a multi-day trip and I figured I could use up the the data over a couple of days.

a screenshot of a phone number

One-Time Data Pass Options

The reality?  I blew through the 1GB data cap pretty quickly, and I ended up purchasing another one.

In Summary

All in all, despite the calling rate increase, the announced changes are still overwhelmingly positive for customers. Expanded coverage and more choices for customers.