NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- T-Mobile USA ( TMUS) hosted a free concert featuring international superstar Shakira in Manhattan's Bryant Park Wednesday night to announce the next phase of its plan to attract more customers. Beginning later this month, T-Mobile will add free data and texting for subscribers traveling overseas as well as unlimited texting and discounted voice calls made from the United States to more than 100 countries around the world.
The company calls this latest move the third phase of its "un-carrier" program. Beginning a few months ago, T-Mobile introduced lower-cost "Simple Choice" monthly service plans as well as an overhaul of the way customers can purchase and pay for new handsets. Both ideas have forced competitors to introduce somewhat similar offerings and both ideas have potential customers taking notice.
Under the new T-Mobile plan, individual and business customers automatically receive unlimited data and texting when traveling in more than 100 "Simple Global "countries around the world. Customers also will pay a global flat rate of 20 cents a minute for voice calls when roaming in those same countries.
Until now, cellular carriers offered limited connectivity add-on plans for overseas travelers. This new plan should offer substantial savings. The last time I used my cell phone in Western Europe I racked-up a huge bill just by leaving my cell phone's data service switched on. The charge for six days of receiving emails plus a handful of voice calls was more than $2,000. After that I made sure I purchased local SIM card accounts when traveling overseas.
The company is also adding discounted calling and texting made from the United States to 70 of those countries for a flat fee of $10 a month. That includes unlimited texting , 20 cents a minute voice calls to cellular phones and unlimited calling to landlines in more than 70 countries with no extra charges.
T-Mobile is adding the new features beginning Oct. 31.
Shakira was the real attraction at last night's outdoor gathering. She headlined there as part of her new multi-year contract with T-Mobile "to help amplify key messages and initiatives for each other and create unique T-Mobile experiences."
Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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