T-Mobile (US) is abolishing its international data & text roaming charges starting on October 31, 2013. Customers can use data at Edge speed (128 KBPS) and text messages (SMS) free at more than 100 countries.
You can read more about this development on Cnet’s website here.
128 KBPS is enough for emails and using data light apps such as Twitter/Facebook/Whatsapp, but you really cannot make voice calls over Skype using connection this slow or stream music/movies.
There are few restrictions by T-Mobile:
– You need to activate the plan in the United States.
– You cannot use the service internationally for more than 6 weeks at a time.
– The amount of foreign data cannot exceed your domestic usage.
T-Mobile intends to make money by selling add-ons. You can buy days worth of fast data (100MB) for $15, weeks worth (200MB) for $20, and $50 gets you 500MB of data.
These are good choices for short international trips, when you are not planning to use the cell data extensively. If you do, then buying a local SIM card for few days use makes more sense. T-Mobile is also introducing reduced plans for making phone calls while roaming internationally.
This is certainly a step for right direction. We will likely soon see a solution for Europe, where you could use a SIM from any European Union country at any member state using your original plan without any extra charges for roaming.