T-Mobile, which recently announced plans to open 1,400 more retail stores this year, is on the move again as it paves the way for phone service in Cuba and prepares for its next “Un-Carrier” customer event next month.
The Magenta Carrier announced today that it has forged an interconnect and roaming agreement with Cuban telecommunications company Empresa De Telecomunicaciones. The arrangement will provide T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan customers with unlimited data and texting and 20 cents/minute calls when visiting the island nation starting this summer.
Conversely, calls to Cuba from the U.S. will cost 60 cents/minute with the company’s $15/month Stateside International Talk feature.
T-Mo claimed that 36.6 percent of Cuban-born wireless users are company customers, more than any other wireless carrier, and that Cuba is the No. 1 most-requested addition to its international roaming platform on social media.
“Connecting them with family and friends in Cuba is a message we heard loud and clear,” said president/CEO John Legere. “The historic opening of Cuba is a natural opportunity for us to take action, and we are.”
T-Mobile is the third U.S. wireless carrier to make the Cuban connection, following Verizon in September and Sprint in November, but is by far the cheapest: Verizon charges $2.99/minute for calls and $2.05/MB for data, while Sprint gets $2.49/minute for calls and $1.99/MB for data while in that country.
Separately, Legere is reportedly gearing up for his company’s 11th Un-Carrier customer initiative next month. Past perks have included free unlimited data for video streaming on most popular services (Binge On), and doubling the amount of subscribers’ monthly LTE data allotment at no additional charge.
This time around, the Un-Carrier is planning to give each subscriber a quarter-share of company stock, currently valued at around $10, and will offer other freebies and prizes like gift cards, pizza, trips, and movie tickets and downloads in partnership with Domino’s, Wendy’s and Vudu, according to VentureBeat.
The event is tentatively slated to kick off on June 6.