T-Mobile has expanded its Simple Global calling plans for customers, adding 20 more nations around the world where customers can use unlimited data and texting while making cellular calls for a flat rate of 20 cents per minute.
Under the expanded Simple Global plans, Simple Choice postpaid customers can now make calls and use unlimited data and texting in Albania, Alderney, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Belarus, Bosnia, Georgia, Guernsey, Haiti, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, Sark, Serbia and Slovenia.
The updated Simple Global plans now include 145 countries where customers can get these rates, according to T-Mobile, which announced the latest destinations on Sept. 17.
Making two-hours-worth of calls in these countries means that T-Mobile customers would pay $24 at 20 cents a minute, while receiving no extra charges for data or texts, according to the company.
T-Mobile launched the Simple Global plan with 115 nations in 2013, and the plan now covers more than 90 percent of the trips Americans take abroad each year, according to the company.
"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," John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "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."
With Simple Global, T-Mobile customers have been using 140 times more data abroad, global texting is up by a factor of 10 and customers are making more than six times as many voice calls, according to the company.
Earlier in July, T-Mobile announced that all calling, texting and 4G LTE data to and from Canada and Mexico is now included for all customers who have Simple Choice mobile calling plans with the carrier. The no-extra-charge "Mobile without Borders" services cover all T-Mobile customers, whether they are initiating or receiving any calls or texts between the United States, Canada and Mexico on their mobile phones. The move means that Simple Choice plans now cover all of North America.
For customers, the new service means that they won't have to pay more to use their mobile phones when traveling in or between the three countries. About 35 percent of all international calls and 55 percent of all international travel from the United States involved Mexico and Canada, which led to nearly $10 billion in global roaming charges at more than 90 percent margins for mobile carriers last year, according to T-Mobile.
In August, competitor Sprint expanded its Open World international calling program to make all mobile calls and texts to and from Canada and Mexico free and included in monthly customer cellular plans, without additional roaming charges. As part of the expanded service, Sprint customers also receive up to 1GB of 3G data for free while traveling in Canada and Mexico. That allotment is in addition to the data in a customer's domestic data plan. Additional data can be purchased at $30 per GB and will only be charged based on actual usage.
In June, Sprint added a "Sprint Cuba 20 Plus" calling plan to allow customers to make direct calls to Cuba. The Sprint Cuba 20 Plus plans offer 20 minutes of international calling to Cuba per month for $10 (50 cents per minute), while additional minutes can be purchased for 70 cents per minute.