T-Mobile ONE Plus Offers Faster International Data

I made the switch from AT&T to T-Mobile back in June, and couldn’t be happier about it. I pay less than half as much as I did before, and I get unlimited international data, can finally tether my phone (I had one of those grandfathered unlimited plans with AT&T that didn’t allow it), and get an hour of free Gogo wifi on every eligible flight.

I’m perfectly happy with my current plan, though yesterday T-Mobile announced a new plan that might be of interest to international travelers.

They’re introducing T-Mobile ONE, which provides unlimited data for as little as $40 per line. This doesn’t actually change T-Mobile’s current international plan, as they’ll continue to offer 128kbps, up to 2G speeds, with this plan.

T-Mobile-One

However, they’re also introducing T-Mobile ONE Plus, which costs an extra $25 per line per month. This comes with added perks like unlimited 4G LTE tethering in the US and international data at twice the speeds. That means you can get 256kbps internationally, up to 3G speeds. Per T-Mobile’s press release:

2x faster speeds abroad. Already, T-Mobile ONE comes with Simple Global – which includes free data roaming in 140+ countries and destinations. Customers with the new T-Mobile One Plus will get the same awesome global connection at twice the speed, up to 3G speeds wherever available.

One complaint people have had about T-Mobile internationally are the 2G speeds, which are on the slow side, admittedly. They do the trick for me, since I’m mainly using my phone for email, Google Maps, etc., when traveling.

T-Mobile-Simple-Choice

However, there hasn’t been a reasonable buy-up option that I know of with T-Mobile for faster speeds without data caps. T-Mobile ONE Plus finally presents the opportunity to get faster speeds abroad.

Is T-Mobile ONE Plus worth it? I guess it depends how much you travel. I know I’d certainly spend an extra few dollars a day for faster phone speeds when traveling abroad, so I might just upgrade when the new offering is introduced on September 1.

What do you make of T-Mobile ONE Plus, and do you plan on upgrading?

(Tip of the hat to @dbender54)

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. T-Mobile only works for you because you never go outside a major city in the US. Drive 20-30 miles away from the city center of most metropolitan areas and you will find your phone in a dead zone. Don’t get me wrong, T-Mobile is perfect if you only stay in the city but there are businesses and money to be made outside and for that ATT is still the best in coverage.

  2. @Santastico I thought Verizon had the best coverage? I’ve been to a few places where Tmo doesnt work, ATT is spotty at best but full bars on Verizon

  3. I’ve been pretty happy with my T-Mobile service in the US, both in town and the country. My work phone is AT&T and it’s rare that I get better service and while it does happen, I get more dropped calls with AT&T. I’m also satisfied with it overseas and it was absolutely killer when they had unlimited LTE/fastest available in Euorpe this summer.

    What I’m confused about is why they would limit their premium product to 3G
    instead of fastest available outside of North America for a premium of $25 (or is it $65?) a month. It’s just not that compelling for me at that level, especially as new apps and technology take up more data naturally.

  4. @David: I don’t have any experience with Verizon. I was a T-Mobile user when I was living in the East Coast many years ago. Moved to a major city in the Midwest and T-Mobile did not work inside my house so I switched to ATT. I travel all over the Midwest into rural areas and it is very rare I don’t get a signal with ATT. I would love to switch to T-Mobile but I cannot be without a cell phone when traveling inside the US.

  5. I travel both domestically and internationally less than Lucky, but more than the average person. However, I live in a rural area and I do spend a fair amount of time traveling by road as well across my state and nearby states. The T-Mobile coverage maps just don’t cover enough space. I haven’t tried it again in a while, but the last time I tried it out with a SIM card, I had absolutely no service for at least 30 miles in any direction from my home — and a lot more depending on which direction I went. I can’t say that I use my phone for emergencies more often than for daily tasks, but I can’t see paying for phone service and accepting the fact that I won’t have it if I break down or run into some sort of emergency on a rural road. I’d love to switch to T-Mobile, it just doesn’t make sense for me — and for a lot of people who do any sort of traveling by road outside of major areas it seems.

    For now, I stick with Cricket on AT&T’s network as it’s competitively priced and the speeds are all I need and I tether with my wife’s (T-Mobile) phone without a peep of complaint from Cricket. I just buy a local SIM when traveling and/or download offline maps (bought a Sygic subscription quite some time ago and have used their maps for offline nav when I’m only going to be in a country for a couple of days). No way I’d do 2G over buying a local sim. At 3G, it sounds more intriguing…..if only T-Mobile would build out their domestic network to compete with AT&T and Verizon. That said, I’m sure it’s not worthwhile to them and c’est la vie.

  6. Math check: T-Mobile ONE Plus costs $15/mo more than the regular T-Mobile ONE plan ($40/mo – $25/mo = $15/mo), not the $25 like you said.

  7. That might be a regional thing. I have had TMobile in rural Maine and upstate New York without much trouble. Sure, there are certain areas where you roam or may lose service, but so too do other carriers. Verizon is far better than AT&T around Maine, but US Cellular is actually the best option there. Best carrier for you will depend on who has what infrastructure in your area, but increasingly more carriers are becoming more viable in more places.

  8. I wonder how easy it will be for all those foreign carriers to deliver speeds at exactly 256 Kbps. Seems like some of them will likely be faster. Or is that why the data gets routed through Chicago? So T-Mobile can slow it themselves? Technical explanation please!

  9. Wow. That’s unbelievable – to actually think “twice as fast – now 256Kbps!” is a selling point. Those poor, poor marketing schmucks forced to make crap look good, I can’t imagine that kind of career.

    Quite happy with Project Fi’s uncapped data speeds. LTE in Europe on most networks, had LTE at nearly 30MBps down / 5Mbps up in Australia and even reasonable 3G 1Mbps on the Great Ocean Road. I managed to do a Facebook live video feed on that.

  10. No upgrade for me. The slower speeds currently in effect under the old plan are working adequately since most of my international data needs are met through free hotel WiFi. I just hope they don’t slow it down now that they want to up sell you…..

  11. I’m a low data user I’m almost always connected to Wifi. I average about 1.5 gb a month on data. Project FI is so much better than Tmobile it’s not even close. It’s a joke really. Never going back to any of the big 3.

  12. There has been a “buy-up” service to higher speeds internationally on T-mobile for at least 2 years now. I have used it many times and they charged $5 per month.

  13. I’m wanting to switch from ATT to T-Mobile now but I’m in contract until next year. T-Mobile will pay my ETF but does anyone know if I should switch now (and bring my current iPhone 6 over to T-Mobile) or wait until the new iPhone 7 comes out (which I want)? Is there an advantage to switch over & get a new phone with T-mobile at the same time?

  14. @Michelle I tried to switch to T-Mobile and it was the WORST experience. I had 2months left on my contract with ATT. In order to switch, and for them to pay your cancelation fee with ATT, you need to give them back your current iPhone, even if you compleatley own it. Then you need to purchase a new phone from T-Mobile even tho, your current iPhone can be unclucked and would work fine with T-Mobile SIM card. So if you switch now, you wont get the iphone 7.

    I live in Long island City, just 5 minutes from Midtown Manhattan and my service was terrible. After 2 days of T-Mobile, I decided to go back to my ATT. When i called T-Mobile to cancel my new service, their rep tried really hard for me to stay but when he finally gave up, he got so upset, that he cancelled my ATT and my T-Mobile account. It took me 7 hours on the phone for them to give me back my old number and transfer it back to ATT. Horrible experience. Would NEVER go back to T-Mobile again. Oh, and supervisors excuse for this was : “Oh, sorry to hear that. Our rep must be having a bad day”.
    To all that are thinking about switching, i would suggest, opening a new line with new carrier for few days to test it out, and not cancel your currnet phone until you are not absuoltuely happy with the new carrier.

  15. Yep @jordan I did a week pass in the Caribbean and in Brazil to 4g for about $5 also so unless i traveled like lucky this probably wouldn’t be worth it to me.

  16. I’m on my 3rd month with T-Mobile and had no trouble with reception around the NE – even out in the Connecticut boonies at my friend’s lake house. Worked great in Portland, OR and a bunch of its suburbs… So far reception is a non-issue. Loved the free 4G summer of roaming thing they did for Europe – definitely came in handy when we were traveling in Scotland this past week. I had a work emergency and needed to upgrade my data plan and I love that you can request a callback at a specific time through the app. They had me squared away in no time. Too bad BA doesn’t have Wi-Fi otherwise I could have tested out the free hour on the way to/from London 🙂

  17. Just in Montego Bay with both Project Fi and T-Mobile. No signal at all for Project Fi and pretty good signal and speed for T-Mobile, which was connected to the largest local wireless operator.

  18. I travel extensively overseas. My data monthly bill with ATT would run around $700/month With t-mobile this went away. Also note tethering overseas works as well, as mentioned speeds are slow, but it works fine for email and light web browsing. I would add, overseas reception is generally better on t-mob than ATT, but in the US it’s not quite as good. I think both carriers still have soft spots.
    If you are an existing t-mob customer there are draw backs to the new plan that aren’t fully uncovered in the article I would do more research before switching. Personally it’s not a better plan

  19. For the record, I choose T-Mobile there years ago because of their international service. Although slow in Latin America at the time, I wasn’t looking for live streaming or much more than my work email and other one necessary work functions. In fact, my work phone is a VoIP number and that worked flawless in Latin America during my travels. I was never disappointed with my international roaming. Now that this has been doubled, I’m excited. I travel to Central America every Three months so this is attractive. Yes, I signed up for the one plus plan.

  20. Feb 17, T-Mobile now have ONE Plus Promo, which gives “Now, activate HD video streaming and 10GB of high-speed Mobile Hotspot data for no extra charge. You’ll also get unlimited data in 140+ global destinations at twice the speed (up to 256kbps), included free. T-Mobile ONE includes unlimited talk, unlimited text & unlimited data.”
    So basically you get the HD video and Mobile Hotspot that was not available on the initial T-Mobile One plan for free. When T-Mobile One first came out, I didn’t switch because I would lose 7GB of hotspot, even though I was yearning for that 256kbps bump. With this promo now I get HD video (which I don’t care), extra 2GB (10GB total) hotspot, 256kbps international data, 1 hour inflight gogo+unlimited text, no taxes and fee, unlimited 4g data/text/calls in Mexico and Canada for $70 flat. My old simple choice plan had no Mexico or Canada, had only 7GB hotspot and 125kbps international data for $70, with tax it was $75. Since T-Mobile eating taxes and fees, basically now I paying $5 less a month for a better plan.
    Don’t know why this promo isn’t being mentioned. You basically get select perks from T-Mobile One Plus for free, without actually having to upgrade from T-Mobile One to Plus.

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