T-mobile has announced that it will roll out free 2G data coverage in more than 100 countries, reports AllThingsD. The move is in an effort to make the carrier more attractive to frequent travelers -- and address an issue common with US carriers: high data roaming charges. As AllThingsD reports:
"There's just so many pieces of data that suggest to us this is a huge issue and pain point, but also a huge opportunity," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in an interview, noting that Americans take 55 million international trips per year. However, he said, 40 percent of customers turn off their phones to avoid high charges, while many others get stuck with high bills when they return.
Under T-Mobile's new plans, which don't carry an extra fee, T-Mobile offers unlimited 2G data and texting in 100 countries, with voice calls in those same places costing 20 cents per minute.
To be sure, 2G data isn't that fast -- and wouldn't be able to handle most HD streaming video feeds, but it should be more than enough to connect to the internet for emails, light web browsing and maps data.
The program rolls out on October 31 and requires customers to return to the US once every six weeks, and that six out of every 12 weeks must be spent in the US.