For those who travel internationally, using your mobile phone can really be expensive. For my work, I regularly go to Canada and I travel internationally a few times a year (hopefully more in 2016! :))
Typically to talk, text or use data internationally at an affordable rate, you have to have a unlocked GSM phone and buy local pre-paid SIM cards. However, US mobile carriers are now giving their customers more options for international roaming.
Verizon Wireless recently revealed TravelPass, an add-on that lets subscribers use their existing bucket of minutes, text messages and data while traveling.TravelPass is only $2/day in Canada and Mexico and $10/day in more than 65 countries around the world.
Before this, Verizon (like AT&T) charged in upwards of $80-$100 for a mere 200 minutes and 100MB of data. It was very expensive and very restrictive.
International roaming? T-Mobile is your best friend
T-Mobile, the challenger brand in US wireless, makes international travel even easier. On my Simple Choice plan, Mexico and Canada are no big deal to visit. My existing data/minutes and SMS are included when I go to Canada for work just like I’m arriving in another state. I don’t have to add anything on or call T-Mobile Customer Service ahead of time, it just works.
In 200 countries, T-Mobile offers free SMS and data to Simple Choice customers and calls are 20 cents a minute. You can buy add-on packages that give high speed data. However, on a recent trip to London for work, I used the free, slower data with no problem to use Maps to navigate the city, Instagram to read/publish images along the way and to email/tweet with no issue.
Thanks, mobile carriers!
I think it’s great T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T are making it easier for international travelers, both leisure and business, to use their phones while abroad in an affordable manner. For me, traveling without my phone would be quite difficult as I use my phone constantly to find restaurants, stay up to date and keep connected with friends/family along the way.
This is one area where T-Mobile’s customer-centric point of view has caused change in other carriers and I hope to see more of this going forward.