Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have some issues with the service I get from T-Mobile. Reception in my city is spotty and sometimes I feel like I’m dropping calls like it’s 1999. But for all that, I still think it’s a great choice for anyone who travels internationally on a regular basis.
Initially, I switched because I wanted to be able to use my phone while traveling like I use my phone at home without becoming one of those cautionary tales about that person who accidentally racked up $1,000 in overages on vacation while doing basic smartphone stuff.
So I did what I usually do, I asked an expert. In this case, it was Johnny Jet, who is always traveling and always posting both to his website and to social media. He suggested T-Mobile for its no-nonsense, no-added-data-charges approach to international use.
In the last two months, T-Mobile has announced two new features that make its service even more useful to travelers:
Wi-Fi Calling: Free Wi-Fi calling and texting is now standard on Simple Choice plans with many smartphones. This is big for travelers because it means as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can make calls from abroad to the U.S. for free. Plus, it solves some of the domestic problems around T-Mobile’s underwhelming cell service coverage areas. I can now, for instance, actually make calls from my house. T-Mobile offers online instructions for setting up Windows and Android phones. Customers with iPhones need to have the most current operating system and then go to Settings, tap Phone, and then turn on Wi-Fi calls (they’ll also need to verify an address for 911 calls).
Free In-Flight Texting: T-Mobile has partnered with Gogo to offer customers unlimited free text and picture messages on any Gogo-equipped flight on U.S.-based airlines. There are some steps you’ll need to take in advance, but it seems worth it for the unobtrusive connectivity you then get for free.
(Photo: iamtheo via flickr/CC Attribution)
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