Light Reading
Fewer than 1% of the carrier's Simple Global Plan customers opt to upgrade their data speeds when abroad, T-Mobile EVP says.

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

Sarah Reedy
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
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.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
6/12/2014 | 2:21:28 PM
Re: And for Domestic Travel, Too
That is a big T-Mo complaint that it's still 2G in a lot of places. I had thought with MetroPCS and their accelerated LTE rollout, they were fixing that though. 

Didn't you have enough other stimuli to occupy your visit to Branson though?! :)
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
6/12/2014 | 2:18:57 PM
Re: T-mo's whatsapp
I figured that was the case too, but T-Mo has said that more than 2 million have roamed in its SImple Choice countries, so that's quite a bit. It might be that expectations are lower when you're abroad or phones are just used as a backup, but I thought that business travelers would have more of a need for speed than consumers traveling.
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. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
NYC Subway Wireless No Cure for Ebola Fears
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed