We've all heard the horror stories of overseas data charges where overages can quickly run into the thousands of dollars. If a picture posted (of all places) on a Shakira Facebook fan page is accurate, T-Mobile is set to do away with overseas roaming (at least partially) in more than 100 countries as part of Uncarrier Phase 3. The announcement is coming today at 8:15PM eastern. Note: Check the update below.


The Shakira tie-in is a little confusing, but the singer is going to be performing at the event tonight. Her status as a non-US artist, combined with all the not so subtle references to the "world" in T-Mobile's teases lends some credence to this leak. The image is a screenshot of a "digital autograph" fans will apparently be able to get with T-Mobile's new international feature emblazoned at the bottom.

It isn't clear if the global data will be unlimited or throttled in some way. Perhaps travelers will get a bit of data at full speed, then be bumped down to 2G speeds. Whatever the case, travelers might not have to worry about coming home to a giant phone bill if this is legit.

2013-10-09 17_07_51-Cell Phones _ 4G Phones _ iPhone and Android Phones _ T-Mobile

Update: T-Mobile has updated its website to talk up the new international data feature. The 'Learn More' link currently redirects to the generic coverage page, so we don't have all the details yet. From the homepage we can ascertain that the 100+ countries figure is correct, and the feature is going live later this month. The magenta countries on the globe are presumably supported by the program. It's looking like all of North and South America except for Cuba and Paraguay are in, as well as almost all of Europe. A big chunk of Asia is pink, as are a few spots in Africa.

The fine print at the bottom also says a Simple Choice Plan is required. This notice doesn't mention caps or speeds, just "nationwide data" going global. Curious...

[Facebook – Thanks, @NS_Patriota]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    I'm assuming there's a cap on the amount of data you're going to get, at least at any kind of speed, with options to then pay up for the standard bend-over-and-take-it international roaming rates once you reach it. 100MB? 50MB?

    • Testraindrop

      Well I have something like this from Vodafone Germany: 2x25MB(!) free per year

    • Phil

      Glad you know all about the details of the plan already.

      No, no, I'm sure carriers are going to be happy to offer everyone unthrottled, uncapped data to everyone, everywhere, for as long as they want. There are no such things as network or financial limitations.

    • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

      up to 2G speed is what I read on Tmo site...
      If you go to http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage.html, scroll down and click see all countries and coverages. at the bottom of the popup small print it says that... I hope I'm wrong lol

  • Jorge Lopez

    I'm pretty sure there will be significant restrictions on this but as someone who frequently vacations in Colombia, this is potentially great news.

  • metric152

    You can trust Shakira when it comes to data plans. Her hips don't lie.

  • Rob Koehler

    Of couse data is included when you're connected to WiFi like in the pic........just sayin

    • NexusPhan

      Pic is a screenshot of the tipster's phone who sent it to Droid-Life.com.

  • HA99

    Buying a local SIM plan is so cheap in many countries that I see no benefit of a limited data plan (with no voice minutes).

    • Andrew

      Even a limited data plan would be appreciated, so that you could run Google Maps to plot your directions to the store to buy a SIM!

      • HA99

        I just buy them at the airport, but I see your point. There may be situations where you only need very little data -- such as when you're in transit during a layover.

    • deltatux

      Yes but there are those who require to keep their existing numbers and such for business reasons. For personal use, of course, it's crazy to roam, but if you're on business, roaming can be important.

      • chx

        Port your primary number to VoIP and redirect to the local number.

        • Brandon Jiang

          then, in order to make outgoing calls with that primary number, you'd need data

        • deltatux

          That only works with incoming call but won't work with outgoing without using data or WiFi. This method isn't really feasible for the common business person.

    • RyanWhitwam

      Most people don't have unlocked phones.

      • HA99

        I've only been on T-Mobile pre-paid for less than a year, so I'm not 100% on how their model operates. I was under the impression that (at least now), in order to use their network, your phone would have to be unlocked on the frequencies that are most common in GSM-land.

        You're right, though, if you can't unlock the phone you have little choice but to rely on T-Mobile.

    • http://404err0r.com/ Henry Park

      There is always VoIP.

  • Glich

    the EU is currently changing the rules so that there is no more roaming between members countries TMO could just be extending that to USA since they own networks in both places.

    • NexusPhan

      Brilliant use of their parent company's leverage in the EU.

    • Paul

      Too late, at least for me. As a german in the USA i had to pay almost 20 Euros for 10 MB of data, last month. The current offer of 7 days unlimited access for 15 Euros wasn't even available for me, even while i have a full contract.

    • Steph Chi

      You've got the point. They are moving because EU will change rules next year ...
      Even if the changes will not be as ambitious as at first :-/

  • NexusPhan

    All T-Mobile plans have been updated to "Simple Choice" Sounds world roaming is free and standard with all plans.

  • Simon Belmont

    This is cool. So if I'm understanding this right, I assume this will work with my existing Simple Choice plan without doing anything?

    I don't travel internationally often, but it'll be nice to know that I'll have data if I do. Good job, T-Mobile.

  • John Kuang

    Hell has just frozen over.

    • NexusKoolaid

      Not yet - AT&T and Verizon haven't followed suit.

      • enoch861

        If one those 2 EVER release something like this.... Now that would be something.
        Don't hold your breath.

  • esper256

    That's it. No amount of Verizon unlimited data grandfathering is worth sticking with them at this point.

  • CerealFTW

    Does it say anything about India?

    • joshuamuthumani

      India is included!! Yay!!!

  • Jeffrey Tarman

    So, if I switch to TMO and just use my GV# like I do on VZW with my unlimited data, I can pretty much talk to whoever I want in 100+ countries? Provided there is coverage

  • william

    It looks like they posted more info: The speed is indeed limited to 2G levels.