T-Mobile said to launch global data in more than 100 countries

in iPhone edited January 2014
T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier in the United States, looks to be close to unveiling a free international data coverage option, with a launch date for the service apparently set for late October.

Update: T-Mobile has confirmed the new roaming option. Simple Choice customers will have access to unlimited roaming data and texting in more than 100 countries, with a flat rate for calls of 20 cents per minute when roaming and no additional monthly fee. T-Mobile has also named Shakira as a celebrity collaborator on the plan, saying that the pop star will "help amplify key messages and initiatives... and create unique T-Mobile experiences."

The "UNcarrier" teased the unveiling of free international data coverage initially in an image uploaded to its website, and the feature was seemingly verified by an image posted to the ShakiraMega Facebook page. The latter image promises "global data coverage in over 100 countries at no extra charge."

T-Mobile's own promotional image appears to show international coverage extending across North and South America, as well as much of Europe and portions of Asia. The promo material states that the service will arrive in late October. It will be available to qualifying T-Mobile customers that have signed up for one of the carrier's Simple Choice Plans.

T-Mobile chief executive John Legere also tweeted an apparent confirmation of the new service on Wednesday.

Long rumored as a possible acquisition target for any of the three larger carriers, T-Mobile was on the verge of being bought by AT&T a short time ago. Since that deal fizzled, though, the carrier has been rejuvenated, due in no small part to its carrying Apple's iPhone, a development that occurred earlier this year.

Recent market figures indicate that the launch of the iPhone on T-Mobile's network in April led to the carrier's share of smartphone sales in the United States growing 1.1 percentage points to 13.2 percent. The recent launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c on that network may boost T-Mobile's share even further.

The company's resurgence is also owed to its novel wireless plans, some of which allow customers to get new phones with no money down or to upgrade on a faster time sale than the typical two-year contract allows. Those T-Mobile programs have led to other carriers quickly launching their own similar features, giving customers the option to upgrade early or to sign up for no-contract deals.
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