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T-Mobile Launches Third Phase Of Its ‘Uncarrier’ Strategy

NEW YORK — Phase 3 of T-Mobile’s “uncarrier” strategy includes dramatically lower rates for international calling and international roaming, plus a promotional partnership with singer and songwriter Shakira.

The plans were announced by T-Mobile president/CEO John Legere during an outdoor concert by Shakira in Manhattan.

The carrier also announced the nationwide expansion of its LTE network months ahead of schedule to reach more than 200 million people in 233 metropolitan areas.

In detailing the international calling and roaming plans, Legere said the cost of using a cellphone while roaming in foreign markets can soar to $1,000 per day if U.S. consumers used their cellphone in foreign countries as much as they use them in the U.S.

To overcome that problem, T-Mobile will initiate its Simple Global program beginning Oct. 31. The program enables subscribers of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans to automatically get unlimited texting and unlimited 2G EDGE data in more than 100 countries worldwide. Voice calls will cost only 20 cents per minute whether made to locations within the visited country or to the more than 100 countries included in the Simple Global program, including to the U.S.

Travelers who want data speeds faster than around 128Kbps will pay for 3G or 4G speeds under a Speed Boost program. Faster rates are available in $15/100MB, $25/200MB and $50/500MB packages for consumers. Different packages are available to enterprises.

For consumers who want to make calls from the U.S. to foreign countries, T-Mobile launched the new Stateside International Talk & Text plan to reduce the cost of calling and texting from the U.S. to Simple Global countries. For a $10/month fee, customers pay a maximum of 20 cents a minute to any landline or mobile number in any Simple Global country. Unlimited calling to landlines in more than 70 of the countries is included at no extra cost. Unlimited texting is included.

For his part, analyst Mark Lowenstein called the new international rate plans “simple, predictable and transparent.” He called the prices of the 3G/4G speed boosts for international travelers “cheaper than a day of Wi-Fi in most European and Asian hotels.”