I’ve written before about T-Mobile roaming as a my secret weapon for staying connected abroad. While I do get local SIM cards for my longer stays, their plans have been especially useful for my short stays or overnight layovers in foreign countries. As well, it’s extremely useful to have connectivity as soon as I land.
On my trip last week which was only a week, I used over 500mb of data. At 0.10 cents/mb (a really cheap rate to roam with), that’d make me run up a steep $50 roaming bill if I wasn’t on T-Mobile. Although it was EDGE speed data, it still worked for webpages, maps, social media, and messaging fairly well.
T-Mobile Roaming “Mobile without Borders”
T-Mobile has just launched a new revamp of their plans, called Mobile without Borders. Starting July 15th, you will be able to use your 4G LTE Data and calls in Canada and Mexico. This usage will count towards your existing limits in the US.
That is incredible. It takes away any advantage that using other prepaid mobile roaming solutions or local SIMs have — that being that those solutions have much faster speeds than T-Mobile. For people that live in and are travelling to Canada/US/Mexico, there is now nearly no reason why you should be using anything else to get mobile data for your phone.
Qualifying T-Mobile Plans
While the cheapest voice + data plan which qualifies for T-Mobile Roaming at EDGE internationally and now at 4G LTE in North America is $50/month, a useful trick to get roaming without paying quite so much is just getting the data plan, starting at $20/month. This still includes unlimited international roaming, as well as these new features in Canada and Mexico. While this does not include calls, you can easily substitute that with a VOIP alternative that simply includes data.
The kicker is that these plans are post-paid, where you pay after you use the service every month. Thus, you would need a US credit report as they will generate a hard pull to qualify you for this plan. Fortunately, even if you don’t have a US credit report, you might still be able to qualify for the high-speed data and calling in Canada and Mexico, as T-Mobile’s press release says these changes apply to all plans, including prepaid customers. The prepaid plan is the same price except it excludes international roaming.
You should really be asking your American friends to add you to their plan if they are already with T-Mobile! 😉