T-Mobile disrupts again, unleashes free unlimited international data, texts

T-Mobile Unleashed Bryant Park
On a magenta colored night

The "Un-carrier revolution" continues. At an event in New York's Bryant Park headlined by Shakira, T-Mobile announced its Un-carrier 3.0 move, or the final phase in its plans to shake up the wireless industry.

Chief among tonight's announcements was word that most Simple Choice customers will see their home data coverage expanded to more than 100 countries at no additional charge.

That means unlimited data and texts and a flat rate of 20 cents a minute for voice calls. The new policy goes into effect October 31.

"The cost of staying connected across borders is completely crazy," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile in a release.

"Today's phones are designed to work around the world, but we're forced to pay insanely inflated international connectivity fees to actually use them. You can't leave the country without coming home to bill shock. So we're making the world your network – at no extra cost."

The nitty gritty

Clearly international means, well, outside the U.S., and T-Mobile is stretching its unlimited data and texting option to over 100 "Simple Global" countries. Locales that qualifying Simple Choice customers can browse and message for free from include the United Kingdom, Spain, Argentina, Russia, China and Australia.

Existing customers don't have to do a thing to take advantage of the new offer as it's being automatically added to their plans.

It's not all roses however as connection speeds won't go faster than 2GB. Yes, you'll save potentially thousands on roaming fees, but you may be slow to get there. Power users can opt to buy speed boosters in three different packages: one day and 100MB for $15, one week and 200MB for $25 or two weeks and 500MB for $50.

T-Mo also introduced a new option for those who want to keep up with friends and family in other countries. Stateside International Talk & Text is a $10 a month option that lets customers call and text folks located in any Simple Global country.

Going global

Shakira, T-Mobile, Bryant Park

Meet T-Mobile's latest spokeswoman

Rounding out its international edicts, T-Mobile announced that it's enlisted Shakira's rather, erm, hip appeal as a global pop powerhouse. Don't worry if Carly is out of a job, T-Mobile says she'll still be riding around in hot-pink T-Mo colors as well as those delightful Bill Hader commercials pushing Jump.

Shakira and T-Mobile have entered a multi-year, mutually beneficial partnership. T-Mo will support Ms. She Wolf's upcoming single and album releases, while the carrier will get first-serve access to her music. There's the usual PR mumbo about message spreading and content creation, but this duet sounds a little more fruitful than Alicia Keys' join-up with BlackBerry.

4G forward

T-Mobile's focus wasn't entirely global as it chirped its 4G LTE network now reaches more than 200 million people in 233 metropolitan markets in the US.

This beats the carrier's goal of covering just that number by the end of 2013. T-Mobile said its 4G LTE is on top of its 4G HSPA+ network, a blanket that covers 229 million Americans.

LTE download speeds are expected to range between six and 20 Mbps. HD Voice is supported on T-Mobile's network, which the company claimed is a solo achievement not offered by other US carriers. Before the year is over, it plans to deploy 10+10 MHz of 4G LTE in 90% of the country's top 25 metro markets, with 20+20 MHz LTE launched from next year on.

T-Mobile let loose some bold moves but it's all a part of it plan to shake up the mobile industry. Phase one, announced in March, did away with annual contracts and added iPhones to the carrier's roster of handsets. A few months later, phase two introduced Jump, T-Mobile's early upgrade program, and credit card check-less family plans.

How will the other carriers respond? The ball is certainly in their court.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.