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Thread: Free international data is pretty great

  1. #1
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    Free international data is pretty great

    In Australia for a couple of weeks and itís been awhile since Iíve used T-Mobileís free international data. Before I left, I was thinking of buying a few GB of data from GigSky using the esim on my XS Max for some fast data if I needed it. But the free data, while certainly slow-ish, is plenty usable. I have the 3/100 plan with the ONE Plus promo so itís 256 kbps and despite that glacially slow number, the LTE signal (rather than 256 on EDGE etc) generally makes it seem faster. And calls over FB Messenger have been great.

    One weird thing though; my XS Max seems to REALLY prefer Telstra even when it drops to 3G while my 6sPlus and my wifeís 7 Plus jump to Optus when Telstra only has 3G. 3G is noticeably slower despite speed tests showing a similar number as LTE. And another odd thing is sometimes uploads donít seem very capped.

    Anyway, once again; kudos to T-Mobile for a great overseas experience

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    Even the standard 128 kbps is livable, particularly if you preinstall an map data you need. You won't be watching any YouTube videos or streaming Twitch but Facebook, E-mail and Google Maps are all usable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikkarma808 View Post
    In Australia for a couple of weeks and it’s been awhile since I’ve used T-Mobile’s free international data. Before I left, I was thinking of buying a few GB of data from GigSky using the esim on my XS Max for some fast data if I needed it. But the free data, while certainly slow-ish, is plenty usable. I have the 3/100 plan with the ONE Plus promo so it’s 256 kbps and despite that glacially slow number, the LTE signal (rather than 256 on EDGE etc) generally makes it seem faster. And calls over FB Messenger have been great.

    One weird thing though; my XS Max seems to REALLY prefer Telstra even when it drops to 3G while my 6sPlus and my wife’s 7 Plus jump to Optus when Telstra only has 3G. 3G is noticeably slower despite speed tests showing a similar number as LTE. And another odd thing is sometimes uploads don’t seem very capped.

    Anyway, once again; kudos to T-Mobile for a great overseas experience
    Good to hear a happy story!

    3G probably seems slower, because in a sense it is. The latency on 3G can be quite noticeable to LTE, which may be further compounded by the fact it's throttled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morphling27 View Post
    .......3G probably seems slower, because in a sense it is. The latency on 3G can be quite noticeable to LTE, which may be further compounded by the fact it's throttled.
    This confuses a lot of people. It's not actually 2G or 3G. Your phone can be on an LTE signal. The data is just throttled to a lower speed by T-Mobile's APN.

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    What is the cheapest way to get the international data ?
    Is there a prepaid plan ? There is a $10 tablet data plan but I don't know if there is an international data add on available ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    This confuses a lot of people. It's not actually 2G or 3G. Your phone can be on an LTE signal. The data is just throttled to a lower speed by T-Mobile's APN.
    I understand that itís throttled to 256kbps but I was talking about when the phone actually drops to 3G. Itís faster when itís throttled LTE, due to the latency I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erikkarma808 View Post
    I understand that it’s throttled to 256kbps but I was talking about when the phone actually drops to 3G. It’s faster when it’s throttled LTE, due to the latency I suppose.
    That's right on the money. Latency on LTE is much better than 3G on average.

    I've also have taken advantage of T-Mobile's generous international roaming options. Always great to have.
    ďThe Internet wasnít meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so itís insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead ó itís a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.Ē John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by trackVW View Post
    What is the cheapest way to get the international data ?
    Is there a prepaid plan ? There is a $10 tablet data plan but I don't know if there is an international data add on available ?
    I think you have to go postpaid to get the international data. I believe if you have T-Mobile One, the tablet plan is $20 and that has unlimited domestic data and global text and data.

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    I was also pretty happy when I want to AU earlier this year myself. Though, I wanted faster speeds and also didn't want to pay for incoming and outgoing calls. A Vodafone hotspot with 15GB data solved both of those.

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    I think there are 2 ways to get T-Mobile international data without being on T-Mobile.

    One is Google Fi - they use T-Mobile for its gsm portion and I am told that it work internationally. Not sure if prices are worth it to most-see base price is $20 for unlimited talk and text and I think $10 per gig but you only pay for what you use. So if you are a moderate user, your bill should never exceed 30$

    The other is ultra mobile - a mvno reselling T-Mobile service that works internationally. I am not too up to date on their offerings.

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    Do you have a link on the Ultra Mobile and international data ?
    I could not find it , thanks

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    I found the free slow data to be ok for casual use and it was very nice to have, but it was pretty slow. Not wanting to be frustrated while traveling last month, I ended up getting a 15 day 30 GB tourist sim from Vodaphone Portugal for 15 Euro and putting it in a spare iPhone 5c with personal hotspot. I bought a data pass twice to stream some CFB on ESPN because apparently they block foreign IPs so my scheme didn't work that day. I mainly used the Vodaphone data to upload my photos and use internet services without teeth grinding. Barely used half of it.

    Did a little Cellmapper on Vodaphone ES while in Salamanca, Spain, I think my data is the only mapping there so far.

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    Free international data is pretty great

    The only thing Iíve found frustrating about data in Australia is that Telstra, while they have wider coverage than Optus or Vodafone, will often be 3G while the others have LTE. But then in more rural areas, Telstra will be 3G while the others have no service. So Iíve been doing a lot of manual switching, especially since my phone seems to prefer Telstra even when others have LTE.
    When there is an LTE signal, I find it plenty usable. Sites like CNN, Yahoo etc take a few seconds to load but itís not too bad. Even managed to post a couple pics and videos on FB with cellular data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vertabrae View Post
    I found the free slow data to be ok for casual use and it was very nice to have, but it was pretty slow. Not wanting to be frustrated while traveling last month, I ended up getting a 15 day 30 GB tourist sim from Vodaphone Portugal for 15 Euro and putting it in a spare iPhone 5c with personal hotspot.
    Will be quite nice when eSIM and dual sim is broadly available - you can put them both "in" the same phone.

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    got warning today, if I keep traveling, roaming will be turned off.

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