& cplSiteName &

T-Mobile: 2G's Good Enough for Global Travel

Sarah Thomas
6/11/2014
50%
50%

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Genband Perspectives -- A big gripe on T-Mobile's free international data roaming plans has been that they restrict users to 2G EDGE speeds, yet fewer than 1% of T-Mobile's business customers are opting to upgrade to higher speeds when abroad.

As part of its Uncarrier 3.0 reveal last fall, T-Mobile US Inc. announced it would eliminate oftentimes exorbitant roaming fees and allow free international 2G EDGE data, free texting, and calls at the flat rate of 20 cents per minute in 115 countries. For those who require higher speeds, the carrier offers Speed Passes for 3G HSPA+ network access (since it doesn't have 4G roaming agreements in place). The plans range from 100 MB for one day at $15 to a two-week, 500 MB pass for $50. (See Bills Don't Lie: T-Mobile Drops International Roaming Charges and AT&T LTE Roams to 13 More Countries.)

Addressing the audience here today, Drew Kelton, T-Mobile's executive vice president of B2B, admitted to getting a lot of pushback on the 2G roaming speeds, but he said fewer than 1% of the 2 million people who have used a Simple Global Plan have opted to upgrade to a higher-speed option.

"It tells us we should only pay for what we need," he said. For a lot of people, adequate speed to check emails and do quick web browsing appears to be sufficient.

A survey T-Mobile released last month found that, since the implementation of its new roaming strategy, its customers have called three times as much when abroad, texted seven times more often, and used 28 times more data than they did previously. What's more, 53% more of its customers now roam on cellular in supported countries than before it unveiled the plans.

Kelton also hinted that more enterprise-focused shakeups are planned from the operator, which has primarily targeted consumers with its marketing and pricing shakeups so far. T-Mobile is set to unveil the next iteration of Uncarrier on June 18 at an event in Seattle. (See CTIA: T-Mobile Takes 'Uncarrier' Attitude to Work and T-Mobile Adds More MDM to Its Business Case.)

The B2B man stressed that BYOD is here to stay, and he warned enterprises to "be with it or miss the boat." He also mentioned how crucial security is as a service offering, and he called on the industry to "create an enterprise model that minimizes the cost economics and mobilizes the workforce."

So what might that mean in terms of new uncarrier announcements from Magenta? Kelton said a compelling opportunity would be to have a single device with a virtualized app on top of it enabling multiple personalities and multiple phone numbers, similar to AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Toggle. (See AT&T Readies Dual-Billing Toggle Update in Q1.)

T-Mobile could also create a new Business Elite plan with everything included to manage legacy platforms and integrated OTT, he suggested.

OTT "is an opportunity this industry needs to grasp wholeheartedly," he said, because tomorrow's CIO is today's 18-year-old. "They don't worry about the old Centrex world of Nortel switches. They think about OTT and web capabilities."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(13)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/25/2014 | 5:38:05 AM
Re: Roaming
2G will definitely be a good option for global travel this is because of its efficiency and the fact that it has made work simpler and easier for people to access. 2G will enable people to be able to access data anywhere that they are in the world. The people will be able to comfortably roam without any problem at all. It should be adopted in all apps that are used especially on android phones. This will definitely be a good investment in the future.
MordyK
50%
50%
MordyK,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/12/2014 | 5:10:31 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
I know this will be controversial, but the need for certain apps to have a decent data connection overseas, means there's a market for a toll free style sponsored data option for apps while roaming.

I'm not saying that this should apply to all apps, but a certain sub-segment of apps could benefit dramatically. For example if a bank or MC could reach out to the phone during an overseas transaction for authentication it would reduce fraud, and therefore jutify paying for the data usage required in a reverse model.
RitchBlasi
50%
50%
RitchBlasi,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/12/2014 | 5:04:39 PM
Roaming
What's the old saying, "you get what you pay for?"  2G is probably good for doing quick email along with texting and voice calling.  For business folks who want to work the same way they do when traveling abroad as they do domestically, they'll either need to upgrade to faster T-Mo plan or get something from a company more focused on delivering intl mobile services like Gigsky, Truphone, OneCell - there are several.

For the occasional traveler, T-Mo is a nice touch.  And yeah Tim, for those using the apps like you want to use when abroad, then again, an international data plan for 3G or 4G access is probably best.
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
6/12/2014 | 4:51:32 PM
Re: T-mo's whatsapp
I'm pretty sure our CFO loves the T-Mobile roaming plan vs others. I switched over just before MWC, my phone bill was $10 more, it was around $300+ extra the year before. 
timkridel
50%
50%
timkridel,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/12/2014 | 2:31:40 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
Definitely no shortage of stimuli in Branson.

TMO is great in cities in terms of speed. On Shiloh's patio in CoMo, for example, I got 12.34/2.05 on HSPA a few weeks ago. But in-builing coverage often is spotty, which is puzzling because TMO is agressive in M2M, where solid indoor coverage often is critical.
timkridel
50%
50%
timkridel,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/12/2014 | 1:35:45 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
Yup. At least back then most apps were designed to work with 2.5G connections.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/12/2014 | 1:28:09 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
@timkridel I see, so you lost the usual conveniences of mobile. It's a bit like traveling back to the state of technology several years ago.  
timkridel
50%
50%
timkridel,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/12/2014 | 1:22:26 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
I could make calls and text, but all of the apps that are useful on vacation -- Yelp, navigation, Facebook, etc. -- didn't have enough bandwidth to function well or at all. Once I had to drive back to the hotel so I could get Wi-Fi to get directions. 
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/12/2014 | 1:17:19 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
@timkridel when you say nearly useless, do you mean that you couldn't even make calls, or that it couldn't do the things we expect of smartphones?
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/12/2014 | 12:22:56 AM
T-mo's whatsapp
Useful for texting. The number of internationally travelling customers could be low. T-mo must be trying to sign on more customers by sacrificing the lucrative roaming costs.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei 2016 UBBS World Tour: Singapore

6|21|16   |   02:39   |   (0) comments


Highlights from Huawei's UBBS World Tour event in Singapore.
LRTV Custom TV
The FlowBROKER Solution

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


During a demo at the Big Communications Event 2016, Accedian director of product line solutions Greg Spear demonstrates how the FlowBROKER distributed packet capture solution (part of Accedian's SkyLIGHT platform) can be used to troubleshoot and resolve QoE issues.

FlowBROKER is the industry's first lossless remote packet capture solution, which uses ...

LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: Dell & the New World Order

6|21|16   |   22:48   |   (0) comments


Dell's Jim Ganthier on how the very essence of enterprise is being affected by digital disruption – and how the cloud can help companies find a path forward.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: The CSP of the Future

6|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Traditional telecom operators have been adopting new ways of doing business from the IT sector and emulating web-scale companies in their technology adoption. Are these strategies succeeding? A panel of experts at BCE considered the evidence...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/20/2016
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Arista Could Face US Import Ban – Reports
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.