Review: Why T-Mobile Is the Best Choice for International Travelers

The Danube River viewed from the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lionhearted was held captive in Dürnstein during the Crusades, sent via T-Mobile from the ruins

By Paul Riegler on 9 November 2015
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Earlier this year, our readers chose T-Mobile USA as the “Best U.S. Mobile Phone Provider for Global Travel,” a sentiment that FBT staffers wholly agreed with as we’ve been T-Mobile customers for over a decade.

Most of the conventional wisdom about international travel with your phone is now obsolete, in many respects thanks to T-Mobile, and using a smartphone abroad – be it for voice calls, texting, or data – is more affordable and easier than ever.

Because our readers and our staffers travel internationally so frequently, our key concerns in choosing a mobile operator include international calling prices from the United States, the cost of placing and receiving voice calls from abroad, as well as the high cost of sending and receiving texts and using data abroad. Another key issue, for us at least, is customer service.

In October  2013, T-Mobile began offering, at no extra charge, unlimited data and texting in over 100 countries (that figure has since risen) as part of its Simple Choice plan. It also changed the rate for voice calls, when roaming in those countries, to 20 cents per minute.

Five months later, the self-styled Un-Carrier added unlimited texting from the United States to “virtually anywhere” as the company said in a statement at the time.

In addition, T-Mobile had already offered free calling to the United States from abroad using its Wi-Fi calling feature, which allows connecting a smartphone to T-Mobile’s network transparently. (This feature makes the phone act as if it were connected to a physical T-Mobile tower, it isn’t voice-over-IP like Skype.)

With the introduction of Wi-Fi calling on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – the lack of which frustrated us at FBT since we had become used to it on Android and BlackBerry devices – we were in business. Indeed, now every phone T-Mobile sells supports the feature.

Click here to continue to Page 2What this Means for Travelers

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