Tags roaming

Feature Request: App-by-app toggling of mobile data roaming

I once teased an American friend about the fact that only 36% of Americans hold a passport, compared to 83% of Brits. He quite rightly pointed out that in America you can fly for six hours and still be in the same country – Seattle to Miami, for example – while Brits can fly for an hour or so and be in any one of a dozen different countries. (I later did a bit of Googling and found he could even have said 11 hours: New York to Honolulu.)

For that reason, this feature request may be most relevant to Europeans and frequent business travellers, but I think it’s one that would at least fall into the nice-to-have category for anyone who travels.

The issue is mobile roaming charges. Use your iPhone in your own country and all-you-can-eat calls and texts are typically pretty affordable, with data being the main thing that determines how much you pay for your plan. But however much you pay for data at home, that’s nothing compared to roaming charges overseas …

more…


Filed under: Feature Request Tagged: data roaming, Feature Request, international roaming, mobile data, Roaming

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Ben Lovejoy

May 11th

Apple

Mac

T-Mobile expands Simple Global international texting and data, now includes all of Europe and South America

t-mobile-signage

Today T-Mobile announced that its Simple Global Uncarrier move is expanding to cover 20 more countries. That means you can now take your T-Mobile iPhone abroad to anywhere in South America and Europe as well as many other destinations, and not pay any extra for data or texting while you’re there.

Simple Global’s most notable addition today (according to T-Mo) is the Bahamas, a preferred destination for 2 million Americans each year. As well as the Bahamas, T-Mobile has expanded to include Haiti, Monaco, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey, Sark, Isle of Man, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan. John Legere, of course, was more than happy to aim a jab at his competition in the press release:

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!”

Since launching Simple Global around 2 years ago, the carrier has seen its customers use 140 times more data than they did before international roaming was included in their plans. That’s despite the fact that users are limited to an average download speed of just 128Kpbs when they’re traveling abroad. T-Mobile‘s full list of countries and destinations has now been updated to reflect today’s expansion.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Data, international roaming, iPhone, Roaming, T-Mobile, texts

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Cam Bunton

September 17th

Apple

Mac

AT&T enhances GoPhone plans to support 4GB data in Canada & Mexico

iPhone 6 Apple Maps North America

National carriers across the US have been adding features that make it easier to use their service in Mexico and Canada as a growing trend, and today AT&T has announced enhancements to its pre-paid GoPhone plans to include 4GB of high speed data use in Canada and Mexico as well as the United States. The new AT&T GoPhone feature goes into effect on August 21st and is supported on the carrier’s $60 pre-paid plan without making any changes.

In addition to 4GB of data for use across North America, the GoPhone plans include unlimited talk and text in the US, Canada, and Mexico as well. AT&T’s $60 GoPhone plan is reduced to $55/month for customers using the carrier’s Auto Refill automatic payment feature. Important to note, though, is that AT&T’s GoPhone plans specifically mean data speeds up to 3G, not faster 4G LTE speeds, when mentioning high speed data.

For post-paid subscribers, AT&T supports international calling and texting to Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on its 15GB and 20GB Mobile Share Value plans that it simplified over the weekend. More similarly, T-Mobile enhanced its own plans last month to support 4G LTE data use in addition to text and calls in Canada and Mexico without international roaming fees.

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Filed under: iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: 3G, 4G, AT&T, Canada, Data, GoPhone, LTE, Mexico, Roaming, T-Mobile

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Zac Hall

August 17th

Apple

Mac

T-Mobile ‘Mobile without Borders’ adds free calls, texts, 4G LTE data for Canada and Mexico

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 13.45.56

T-Mobile’s mission to change the entire U.S. wireless industry took another step forward this morning. In an Uncarrier Amped move dubbed ‘Mobile without Borders‘, T-Mobile announced that it will offer its American customers free telephone call roaming to and from Mexico and Canada. For the first time, it will also include free 4G LTE data. Postpaid, prepaid and business customers will be able to make use of it from Wednesday, July 15th. It’s a killer move, and effectively erases the virtual borders between the U.S. and its neighboring countries.

Unlike the current Simple Global feature, when a T-Mo subscriber crosses the Mexican or Canadian borders, they won’t be reduced down to EDGE speeds. They retain 4G LTE connectivity seamlessly, providing there is LTE coverage in that area. T-Mo partnered with carriers in those two countries to pull this move off. There’s only one small asterisk — the feature is being offered in specific cities within Canada and Mexico — as discussed below…

In its press release, T-Mo states that “calls to, from and between the U.S., Mexico & Canada − whether mobile or landline − are included in our latest plans at no extra charge. And, when you’re in Mexico & Canada, you’ll use 4G LTE data straight from your Simple Choice 4G LTE data plan.” 

In simple English, it’s effectively like having regular T-Mobile coverage in Canada and Mexico. Any call you make, any text you send, any data used over the border comes out of your existing allowance without charging you for the privilege of roaming. What’s more, you can continue to use T-Mo benefits like Music Freedom and Wi-Fi calling and texting, just like you can at home. The only thing that isn’t (yet) included is your Data Stash. If you have data stored up in your stash, that won’t be used when you travel, but that feature should be coming later this year.

As you’d expect from T-Mobile’s outspoken chief, John Legere couldn’t help but use this move to take a swipe at his competition:

“After spending billions buying up Mexican telecoms, AT&T’s CEO is promising ‘the first seamless network covering Mexico and the U.S.,’ something ‘unique’ that ‘nobody else will be able to do for the consumer.’ So much for that. They won’t be the first. And they won’t offer Canada for free,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “We’ve done this the Un-carrier way − reaching across borders, partnering with leading providers offering the best LTE networks, creating a simple solution right now − then not charging a penny more for it.”

This swipe comes just a couple of hours after T-Mobile announced its preliminary financial results for the second quarter. The carrier announced that it added an impressive 2.1 million customers during Q2, bringing its total subscriber count to almost 59 million customers.

If you are planning to travel, and are in #TeamMagenta, be sure to check out T-Mobile’s list of cities in Mexico and Canada where you can expect to have 4G LTE coverage. There are over 30 Canadian cities on the list, and 100 in Mexico, both including the most populated regions in each country.

 


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 4G LTE, Network, Roaming, simple choice, simple global, T-Mobile

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Cam Bunton

July 9th

Apple

Mac

Europe finally agrees to abolish roaming charges – but not until 2017

eu-roaming

Europe is an odd place to live. In some respects, it acts like one big country (you can drive across it without ever seeing a border or showing a passport), while in other ways it is very definitely individual countries – like paying roaming charges outside your own country for calls, text messages and data.

We’ve been promised an end to roaming charges for what feels like forever, and the good news is that after years of discussion and debate, the European Union finally agreed to a date. The bad news is that the date isn’t until June 15th 2017.

It means that from 15 June 2017 you can use your mobile device when travelling in the EU paying the same prices as at home (domestic prices). For instance, if you pay for a monthly volume of minutes, SMS and data in your country, any voice call, SMS and data session you make while travelling abroad in the EU will be deducted from that volume as if you were at home, with no extra charges. This means the end of roaming charges as Europeans experience them today in their daily life.

The EU has gradually imposed caps on roaming charges, and the current ones of €0.19/minute for calls and €0.06 per text message aren’t too bad, but €0.20/MB for data is the killer, making it easy to rack up a hefty bill with perfectly normal use of a smartphone in other European countries.

The EU has also agreed to net neutrality rules, though watered down with exceptions for ‘innovative’ services that require higher than usual bandwidth – like Netflix. The EU says that these services can be prioritized so long as this doesn’t harm other services, but as everyone would otherwise get the fastest speed for everything, this provision doesn’t appear to have any real meaning.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: EU, Europe, European roaming charges, European Union, Roaming

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Ben Lovejoy

June 30th

Apple

Mac

Google’s Wireless Service Could Come With Free International Roaming 

Yes, Google wants to be a wireless carrier . Not to take the whole world by storm (yet), but to push the limits of what wireless carriers do. The latest possible perk? Service outside the US at no additional cost.

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Eric Limer

April 6th

Mobile

Verizon is almost fixed in New York as AT&T announces LTE roaming in Canada on Rogers

lte

Verizon’s problems with LTE capacity in NY are almost at an end, claimed CEO Lowell McAdam during an investor conference on Monday. Describing the issues as “a short-term blip,” he said the company was “now back to where we want to be.”

Verizon identified 49 cell sites in the New York area where capacity was insufficient, and said that all but seven of them had been strengthened.

AT&T, meantime, said that it has become the first U.S. carrier to offer international LTE roaming thanks to an agreement with Rogers Communications to allow customers access to LTE data when visiting Canada. The Rogers LTE network covers approximately 70 percent of Canada.

Roaming is not, however, cheap. For occasional use, you’re charged $15.36/MB. Alternatively, you can sign up for a Data Global Add-on packages at $30/month for 120MB, $60/month for 300MB or $120/month for 800MB. The two more expensive packages also give you 1GB of wifi usage where available.

Full AT&T press release below … 

AT&T Customers Can Now Enjoy 4G LTE Wireless Speeds While Traveling in Canada

AT&T Is First U.S. Carrier to Offer International LTE Roaming

Dallas, Texas, December 09, 2013

AT&T* announced today that it has launched LTE roaming in Canada with Rogers Communications.  The agreement with Rogers makes AT&T the first U.S. carrier to offer international LTE roaming.

AT&T has a broad selection of LTE devices. In fact, about 42 percent of AT&T postpaid smartphone customers use an LTE device.** With today’s announcement, AT&T customers roaming in Canada can use their existing LTE device to surf the web, download apps, upload content and more on Rogers LTE, Canada’s fastest LTE network.

“Our agreement with Rogers affirms our commitment to deliver superior international coverage to our customers,” said Bill Hague, executive vice president, International, Alliances and Integrations, AT&T Mobility. “AT&T customers already have access to the nation’s fastest, most reliable 4G LTE network while in the United States and now they can enjoy LTE speeds while roaming in Canada.”***

Rogers LTE delivers Canada’s fastest download speeds, enabling AT&T customers to stay connected while traveling north of the border. The Rogers LTE network reaches 70 percent of Canadians from coast to coast and continues to expand. This year alone, Rogers will expand its LTE coverage to 95 new markets.

AT&T customers can select from one of three Data Global Add-On packages that offer discounted rates in Canada and over 150 countries – 120MB for $30/mo; 300MB for $60/mo; and 800MB for $120/mo.

To learn more about AT&T’s discount roaming packages, including tips for selecting the best data package for your international travel needs, visit att.com/worldpackages.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**As reported in AT&T Earnings for 3rd Quarter 2013: About 42 percent of AT&T postpaid smartphone customers now use an LTE device; 70 percent use a 4G-capable device (LTE/HSPA+)

***4G LTE speed claim based on national carriers’ average 4G LTE download speeds. Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE availability varies.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 4G, 4G roaming, AT&T, Canada, Lowell McAdam, LTE, LTE roaming, New York, Roaming, Rogers Communications, United States, Verizon Communications

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Ben Lovejoy

December 9th

Apple

Mac

Facebook’s Providing Free (Or Cheap) Data Around the World—For Facebook Apps

Facebook has announced that, over the coming months, it will be partnering with 18 network operators in 14 countries to provide users with free or discounted data for some of its mobile apps. More »


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Jamie Condliffe

February 25th

Uncategorized

An International, Flat-Rate, Pay-As-You-Go 3G Data SIM? Yes, Please

If you're an avid traveller, you might want to think about picking up a soon-to-go-on-sale Doodad pay-as-you-go SIM card: it offers flat-rate, 3G data, around the world, and will work in any unlocked GSM device. Neat. More »


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Jamie Condliffe

February 21st

Uncategorized

International, Flat-Rate, Pay-As-You-Go 3G Data SIM? Yes, Please

If you're an avid traveller, you might want to think about picking up a soon-to-go-on-sale Doodad pay-as-you-go SIM card: it offers flat-rate, 3G data, around the world, and will work in any unlocked GSM device. Neat. More »


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Photo

Jamie Condliffe

February 21st

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