T-Mobile Drops Fees For International Data & Texting In 115 Countries

Free from fees, least for now.

Free from fees, least for now.

It’s always the opposite of fun to realize you forgot to turn off your mobile roaming or sent a few too many texts while traveling out of the United States — fees for text and data can pile up into the the hundreds or thousands of dollars if you’re not careful. T-Mobile customers on its Simple Choice plan won’t have those worries when visiting 115 or so countries, as the company announced it’s ditching international fees in certain locations.

The change will also apply to voice calls while made in those countries, which will be capped at a flat rate of 20 cents per minute for voice calls to those same countries or the U.S., compared to the $1 or more T-Mobile and other carries currently charge per minute in many countries, reports the Associated Press.

CEO John Legere said in an interview that of course, roaming fees are very profitable, but T-Mobile hasn’t gotten a large chunk of that pie simply because it doesn’t have a lot of traveling business customers. The new program will hopefully bring in subscribers without having revenue fall, he hopes.

In any case, Legere adds that T-Mobile isn’t going to miss out on much moolah anyway, because it has existing agreements with wireless carriers around the globe that allow for more data than customers are using up.

For those customers who want a faster roaming plan, T-Mobile will offer speedier plans at $15 for a day or $25 for a week.

The free plan won’t apply to some customers, however, including study abroad students who are out of the U.S. for extended periods of time. Any trip abroad will be limited to six weeks or less for the plan to work, and customers have to be in the U.S. at least half the time out of any three-month period.

The fine print notes that this is a limited offer and could always change, so be sure to do your research and make sure your phone is compatible before setting sail in your yacht or whatever.

Click here to see which countries are covered and here for more info on the plan.

T-Mobile to eliminate international data fees [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.