Overland Park, Kansas – Sprint is countering T-Mobile’s cross-border calling initiative with its own Open World initiative.
Open World offers free unlimited calls and texts to Mexico and Canada from the U.S., calls starting at 5 cents/minute from the U.S. to Latin America and to more than 180 other countries, and free unlimited calling for subscribers traveling within Canada, Mexico, and most Latin American countries to any location within those areas.
Last month, T-Mobile began offering calls to Mexico and Canada at no extra charge and dropped roaming charges for voice and data usage within those countries for subscribers of its Simple Choice postpaid and prepaid plans. T-Mobile’s Mobile Without Borders initiative essentially makes Canada and Mexico part of a subscriber’s home territory, pricing all calls and texts like domestic calls and texts.
Now, Sprint is going a step farther with its Open World plan, whose free calls don’t count against the subscriber’s domestic bucket of voice minutes and text. On top of that, Open World offers 1GB of free 3G data when customers travel in Open World countries, and the data usage doesn’t count against a user’s data bucket. Data usage above 1GB costs $30 per GB, based on actual usage. Consumers who use less will pay less, Sprint promised.
The Open World countries where U.S. travelers get free unlimited calls and a free GB of data are Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay. The countries coming soon to Sprint Open World are Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The new calling plans do not require a monthly access fee.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said the initiative is targeted to subscribers who frequently make long-distance calls from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico or Latin America; live near the Mexican or Canadian borders and travel often to those countries; or primarily visit Canada, Mexico or Latin America when traveling internationally.
For customers traveling to Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Sprint Open World includes $0.20/minute calls with free texting and data available at $30/GB of 3G data from Australia, Canary Islands, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Palestinian Territories, Russia, San Marino), Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Vatican City, and Wales.
AT&T has also said it plans to offer more competitive cross-border plans.