Sprint is taking another page out of T-Mobile’s playbook and announced Friday that it was offering International Value Roaming. This new feature gives customers unlimited data roaming and texting while traveling to select countries in Europe, Latin America, and Japan.
The data roaming, like T-Mobile’s plan, allows no charge use at 2G speeds, enough for email, messaging and basic browsing. Voice calls are billed at 20-cents-per-minute, to any destination.
The initial batch of eligible countries is small, but not insignificant. International Value Roaming is available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to the free roaming, customers with iPhones and select Android devices can also leverage Wi-Fi calling when connected to any number of hot-spots. Customers can also buy higher-speed (3G) mobile data packages too. A $15 day-pass is good for up to 100MB, a $25 seven-day pass is too for 200MB, and 500MB can be had for $50 over a 14-day period. There are no overages, speeds just revert to 2G when the threshold is reached.
Of course, Sprint will add countries to the list as it expands its program. It is easy to see where Sprint is copying borrowing from T-Mobile, right down to the language, “…understanding customers’ pain point,” common phrasing from Team Magenta’s colorful CEO, John Legere. However, Sprint makes no bones as to whom it hopes to draw interested customers from, AT&T and Verizon. These options are quite a bit more attractive than the international packages currently available from the two larger carriers.
International Value Roaming is also part of Sprint’s Unlimited Plus Plan, which is available exclusively to owners of the new Samsung Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 edge. It offers unlimited everything in the US, plus the international roaming, and a free phone for $80 per-month.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), April 10, 2015 - Beginning today, Sprint (NYSE: S) is introducing International Value Roaming, giving customers the ability to travel to major areas in Latin America, Europe and Japan and roam with up to 2G speeds to read emails and surf the web at no additional charge1 . Additionally, they can send unlimited text messages for no extra charge, and they can call anywhere in the world from these countries for 20 cents per minute. Customers can easily add International Value Roaming to any Sprint domestic plan at www.sprint.com/internationalroaming or by visiting a Sprint store.
Eligible countries for International Value Roaming are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom.
In Sprint’s customer-centric culture, we are passionate about listening and understanding customers’ pain points and making changes to enhance their experience. One of the main complaints from customers who travel to Latin America, Europe, and Japan is how shocked they are when they return home to find huge roaming bills. Most consumers don’t want to take that risk, so they end up turning off their data roaming while traveling and miss out on all of the fun and benefits of having a mobile phone. We have removed the pain point by offering International Value Roaming coupled with the ability to use Wi-Fi calling.
If customers prefer to connect their phone to the millions of hotspots throughout Latin America, Europe and Japan, they can use Wi-Fi Calling to enjoy free calls from over 200 countries back to the U.S. Wi-Fi Calling is available at no additional charge when calling a U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico phone number2. Wi-Fi Calling is available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s and select Android devices. This is superior to AT&T and Verizon who don’t offer Wi-Fi calling on the iPhone and their customers who travel internationally still have to worry about getting charged for every gigabyte of data, every text and every phone call.
“The continuous feedback from our customers indicates how important it is to travel without the fear of high roaming charges,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “So, we launched free data roaming and Wi-Fi. “Latin America, Europe and Japan are only the beginning. We will continuously add new countries to ensure our customers can use their device virtually wherever they travel.”
Customers looking for higher data speeds can choose from three of our Sprint International Speed Data Roaming options offering up to 3G network speeds3 for one-day, seven-day and 14-day passes, starting at just $15.
International Value Roaming also is part of the Sprint Unlimited Plus Plan exclusively available to Samsung Galaxy® S6 and Samsung Galaxy® S6 edge customers. The Sprint Unlimited Plus Plan includes unlimited data, talk, text, Unlimited International text from the U.S., International Value Roaming and a free 32GB Galaxy S6 for $80 per month after $20 credit. It’s the first free lease in the wireless industry4.
The new International Value Roaming from Sprint, with unlimited data and texting, offers a greater value to customers over Verizon and AT&T. With Sprint, customers can travel to many of the most popular locations in the world, including Mexico, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, at no additional charge to their monthly bill. Although Verizon and AT&T currently offer services to additional countries, customers must pay large monthly fees to use their services while traveling. Verizon charges an additional $40 per month including 100 voice minutes5, and AT&T charges an additional $30 per month when choosing a bundle that includes these popular destinations6.
Good for Business
International Value Roaming and International Speed Data Roaming Passes make it simple and affordable for business customers to stay connected when their business or personal travels take them to Europe, Latin America or Japan. Because international travel is an important part of doing business, Sprint is giving business customers what they have been asking for and what they need for free or at a low cost with our speed data buy-ups.
Sprint offers voice and data coverage to additional countries around the world with affordable international data packs and Sprint Worldwide Voice. Visit www.sprint.com/international for more information on countries and rates.
Sprint and T-Mobile have really started to up their game. It's really hard to find reasons to stay with bigger two, especially now that Sprint and T Mobile are rapidly improving their networks and value.
I agree. I like Sprint making this move even though T-Mobile's is still a better deal. Anything that gives more to the consumer is good. I've used T-Mobile in 5 countries and always had a good experience.
One major difference is T-Mobile gives you 4G speed when you pay extra, and Sprint is only doing 3g.
Well coverage is still quite important. Really wish they would spend some of their money on network expansion rather than promos and gimmicks, but this is at least a good promo, it can be beneficial for a good number of people.
How about just simply start selling unlocked phones and unlock all the ones existing that have GSM capabilites like the G2, G3, Gflex, Moto X? All US carriers should follow that step from Verizon. It's easier to get a $5 sim card from any carrier let's say in Mexico, load $10 or $15 (Which in most mexican carriers, gets you unlimited social networks/bunch of sms & minutes enough for one long trip) + you get 3G & even LTE in some areas.
Dam i Wish Att did this ..ugh my last bill was 675 for using it in mexico even tho i added their passport plan which btw SUCKS i had data off and only used it when i needed to get driving directions and immediatly turned it off when i was done and they still managed to find a way to charge me 675. I tried a TELCEL sim but its such a hassle for me cuz i have family in PUerto rico n miami and i gotta give em the mexican number ,and some of em dnt even know how to txt or call a mexican cellphone number,only advantage att has when roaming is when people call or txt your US number and call or txt goes directly to my phone were ever i am in mexico..
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