Is T-Mobile's International Roaming Good Enough For My Travels?
In most cases, it should be. But not always.
· 4 min read
Today, it is now much easier and cheaper for travelers to stay connected as they explore the world. With an abundance of options to staying connected while traveling, you are no longer restricted to just international roaming on your telco (unless your device is carrier-locked). Telcos have been offering roaming packages and plans to attract users to roam instead of going with alternative options.
In this blog, we will take a look at T-Mobile's International roaming options, its features, and whether it is good enough for your travel needs.
T-Mobile Roaming Plans
T-Mobile offers various plans for their home lines, and most of these plans already include international data roaming. That is to say that if you are on a T-Mobile plan on your primary line, you will have an allowance of roaming included in your plan without additional charges.
Here are some of their plans that include roaming, and the details of the roaming packages:
- Go5G Next and Go5G Plus plans: up to 5GB of high-speed data in more than 215 countries
- Go5G plan: up to 5GB of high-speed data in 11 European countries (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Greece)
- Magenta MAX: up to 5GB of high-speed data in more than 215 countries
- Magenta: up to 5GB of high-speed data in 11 European countries (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Greece)
All of these plans also offer unlimited texting at the indicated countries. Most plans also offer high-speed data of varying volumes (5GB, 10GB, or 15GB) in Canada and Mexico, as well as unlimited calling and texting.
Limitations you need to know
With up to 5GB of high-speed data internationally at no additional charges, T-Mobile's roaming plans definitely sound very attractive. But, the plans are not without limitations:
- If you were to exceed the 5GB data roaming data allowance, you will still get unlimited data. However, that is at a throttled speed of up to 256kbps — you can still send WhatsApp or iMessages, but otherwise practically unusable.
- You will not be able to use your device as a mobile hotspot to tether data from your plan while overseas.
T-Mobile International Data Pass
In addition to the data allowance that is already included in T-Mobile's plans, there is also the option of getting an international data pass in case you need more data. And in case you need a mobile hotspot, the international data pass also allows tethering.
There are three variations of the international data passes:
- International 1 Day Pass: 512MB of high-speed data and unlimited calling, to be used up to 24 hours, for $5/day.
- 5GB International Pass: 5GB of high-speed data and unlimited calling, to be used up to 10 days, for $35.
- 15GB International Pass: 15GB of high-speed data and unlimited calling, to be used up to 30 days, for $50.
Is T-Mobile's International Roaming Sufficient For My Travels?
T-Mobile's roaming plans are definitely attractive, but the question remains whether the coverage is sufficient for your travels. Let's take a look at some of the various factors:
If you are on Go5G Next, Go5G Plus, or Magenta MAX, their plans cover most major destinations world-wide. On the lower tier plans, it only includes 11 countries in Europe — but you can easily complement that with the international data passes in case you are traveling outside of the area of coverage.
There have been mixed reviews on the stability of the network. While there are some users who might have faced difficulties with the stability of the network while traveling, majority of the users had a generally smooth experience.
As the coverage depends largely on the local networks, the quality of the connection could vary from destination to destination.
Whether 5GB of data is sufficient for your travels largely depends on where you will be traveling to, how long you will be traveling for, and what your data usage patterns are like. If you will be traveling somewhere with an abundance of free WiFi, you probably will require less data.
However, as a general guideline, 5GB of data would be sufficient for a week-long trip. But, if you are streaming HD videos and content or constantly scrolling through TikTok or Instagram Reels, then you will likely find that 5GB of data isn't going to be enough.
The throttled speed of 256kbps that follows is barely usable for most functions (apart from sending texts) - so we wouldn't count on that.
As for the international day-passes, 512MB of data for 24 hours is a volume that could run out rather easily.
The international data roaming included in T-Mobile's Plans are likely to be sufficient for most travelers if you will be traveling for a week-long trip, and if your plan includes coverage in the destination you are traveling to.
Alternatively, you can sign up for the international data pass — we don't recommend getting the day-pass as the cost could chalk up really quickly and the data volume is rather low. Instead, consider getting the 5GB or 15GB data pack, but prices for those are rather steep.
An Alternative: Get a Travel eSIM from Nomad
If you find yourself needing to get an international data pass from T-Mobile, we recommend that you consider getting a travel eSIM from Nomad instead.
Nomad offers data plans in over 165 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.50/GB.
The biggest advantage of getting a Nomad eSIM over T-Mobile's international data pass would be its competitive rates. For example, if you will be traveling to multiple countries across Asia, instead of paying $50 for 15GB of data, Nomad offers 20GB of data across 20 countries in Asia at just $29!
And if your motivation for getting the international data pass is so that you can tether, not to worry - Nomad's eSIMs also allow tethering!
Of course, the steeper prices from T-Mobile can be attributed to the fact that it covers all international destinations. But, unless you really will be traveling to that many different destinations in 30 days, you probably wouldn't need that extensive a coverage — so why not get a more cost-effective plan that better fits your needs?