Sprint Global Roaming Service gets global LTE roaming

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Sprint’s international roaming amenities have trailed behind T-Mobile’s and have more recently been running up against pressure from AT&T and Verizon as the two have introduced new unlimited data plans.

After leading the low-cost edge with its Unlimited Freedom plan package, the Kansas-based carrier is now coming around to update its Sprint Global Roaming Service, complimentary to its postpaid plans.

Sprint now boasts partners in 165 destinations — 20 more than T-Mobile, but less than the “over 200 countries” available on AT&T Passport and Verizon’s International Travel Plan.

Free texting and free data at speeds of up to 64kbps are available in designated areas while calls cost 20 cents a minute. Phones must be GSM-capable, but most devices sold at Sprint within the past few years are.

Mexico and Canada benefits include free calls from the US, free LTE-speed roaming data and free calls and SMS while in the countries, but only for those under the Unlimited Freedom plan umbrella, which starts at $50 a month for a single line. Those stuck on deprecated plans will pay $2 per day or $10 per week for LTE roaming.

What’s really new is that every other destination now gets in on that high-speed roaming as well, though at a higher cost: pretty much every subscriber is subject to a daily $5 fee or a weekly $25 fee for the LTE upgrade. However, the cost for roamers in China is $10 a day and $50 a week. Keep in mind that local network conditions and device compatibility may keep speeds relatively low — ask a service representative.

Basic benefits are automatically applied. Customers can purchase LTE data plots through their account pages at any time.

Comparing international feature sets between the major carriers on a holistic level, Verizon’s has the most restrictions and is the most expensive to maintain. AT&T Passport comes in the form of three tiered packages that have to be used over the course of a month (a one-time purchase lasts 30 days, but Passport can also be a recurring purchase).

T-Mobile’s offering does have unlimited data at its destinations, but its higher general starting price for its pre-requisite T-Mobile ONE combined with a maximum 256kbps speed cap on the T-Mobile ONE Plus plan limit its potential. The Un-carrier does offer free Gogo-supplied Wi-Fi onboard select domestic flights.

Perhaps we’ll see a little bit more competition in this field now as Sprint has opened up the doors to global LTE roaming.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.