Just days after announcing a massive expansion of its domestic LTE coverage, T-Mobile [NYSE: TMUS] this week expanded its worldwide coverage, announcing the immediate addition of 20 new countries and destinations to Simple Global™, Un-carrier® 3.0. With today’s expansion, T-Mobile Simple Choice™ postpaid customers enjoy unlimited data and texting at no extra cost and low flat-rate calls for just $0.20 a minute in a total of 145 countries and destinations worldwide—including all of Europe and all of South America.
The Un-carrier has steadily expanded the number of countries and destinations it covers, from 115 at launch in 2013 to 145 today. Now, Simple Global covers more than 90% of the trips Americans take abroad each year. The most notable addition in today’s list is the Bahamas, where over 2 million Americans travel each year, and now those travelers with T-Mobile won’t have to worry about expensive roaming charges or add-on plans.
Simple Global takes aim at the carriers’ practice of jacking up their customers’ rates as soon as they step across a border. Take a trip with Verizon’s International Travel Preferred Pricing, and you could pay a staggering $250 for just one gig of data, based on their published rate of $25 per 100 MB. And that’s with an international add-on in qualified countries. If you’re unlucky enough to need to travel elsewhere or forget the add-on, they could hit you for $2.05 per megabyte—which works out to a mind-boggling $2099.20 for a single gigabyte of data.
“We’ve just made your traveling even easier in 20 more destinations around the world, expanding Simple Global to cover all of Europe and all of South America,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “The carriers have made billions overcharging consumers who just want to stay connected overseas, and we’ve changed all that! Today, we made it even simpler to text, search or keep up on social media in a total of 145 countries and destinations, all at no extra cost!”
Simple Global has been, without a doubt, one of the Un-carrier’s most-loved moves. Since 2013, T-Mobile customers are using 140 times more data abroad, global texting is up more than 10 fold and customers are making more than 6 times as many voice calls. Meanwhile, in a recent survey, over 50% of carrier customers say they turn their data off as soon as they leave the U.S.—mostly out of fear of the carriers’ insane roaming charges. And, to avoid those charges, the carriers make customers jump through hoops to tack on global roaming plans that jack up their monthly bill.
Nowhere is this problem worse than with American businesses, who − in the past − had no choice but pay the carriers’ exorbitant fees as a cost of doing business. In 2014, U.S. businesses paid their carriers an incredible $7.3 billion in wireless data charges for employees roaming abroad, according to RCR Wireless.