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T-Mobile - Europe

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by Cornell, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    My 16 year old daughter is leaving in August to be an exchange student in Switzerland (through AFS). I am considering moving her phone plan to T-Mobile ONE as that plan includes data and unlimited texting in quite a few international countries . Do any of your T-Mobile users out there have experience with this? I'd love to know your thoughts.
     
    PamMo likes this.
  2. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It works as advertised. T-Mobile is a German company (Deutsche Telekom), so what do you expect?
     
  3. jtp1947

    jtp1947 TUG Member

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    We have the same T-Mobile plan and have used it for years when we travel to Europe. Mobile calls are .25 cents a minute in most countries. Never had a problem.
     
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  4. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    I did not know that! Good info - thank you.
     
  5. PamMo

    PamMo Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Not sure about the ONE plan, but we have the T-Mobile 55 plan, which gives us unlimited text and data overseas. It works GREAT, but there is a limit on how you use it outside the USA over a couple of billing periods. After two months in Mexico, T-Mobile sent notice they would change my plan if I continued using it outside the US. Is she going for the year?

    Also, best wishes to your daughter on her upcoming adventure! I had a fantastic AFS year in Australia, our son was an AFSer in Brazil, and our daughter was an AFSer in Italy.
     
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  6. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    I'm glad to say that I don't quite qualify for the T-Mobile 55 plan :) The big issue that I see with the ONE plan is that the data speeds are LOW. But I suspect she'll be connected to Wifi most of the time. I just was thinking this could be a must more convenient alternative than her having to get local SIM cards.

    I LOVE hearing about your AFS experiences. My niece was an AFSer to Italy too! -- and that sparked the interest in my daughter. Yes, my girl is going for the year. Leaves in August and won't return until July 2020. YIKES!!!!!!! I cannot believe I won't see her for almost a year.
     
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  7. PamMo

    PamMo Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I took a quick look at the ONE plan. I don't think she'll be able to use it for the year.
    This plan is not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our network.
    I know what you mean about letting your sixteen year old go abroad! I cried when each of our kids left and we missed them all year, but we were also SO excited for them! They were amazing young people to begin with, but matured and learned so much during their time abroad. Their host families were/are incredible people, too! They totally spoiled our kids! And are still "family" 20 years on...
     
  8. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    Yes, the more I look into this T-Mobile thing, the more I'm realizing it's not going to be an option. It's geared for people who are traveling in Europe, not staying for extended periods of time. I'm hoping her host family can assist in the cellphone aspect of things.

    I feel just like you do -- Thank you for the support. A lot of people think I'm nuts for letting her do this but I know she will thrive.
     
  9. PamMo

    PamMo Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    It won't be a problem. Between her host family, AFS support, other exchange students and new friends, she'll get her phone worked out quickly!

    You're not nuts, you're giving her wings to fly!
     
    CanuckTravlr and Cornell like this.
  10. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    If you looked into her getting a Switzerland SIM card for her fone?
     
  11. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    Yes, but it's not simple -- often times SIM cards are for short term use only and she will be there close to a year.
     
  12. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    Honestly, I think the best plan is to simply wait until she is over there, and have her host family take her to a phone store. They would be able to set her up with a plan and activate it while she is still in the store. The host family probably knows more about what provider would be best for their locale. While she is traveling there, you can just make sure she has international access with her current plan. You should be able to just add that for a short time until she gets her local plan set up.

    Kurt
     
  13. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    HI Kurt -- Yes, I think that's going to be the route we go! It's just challenging b/c often times minors can't get cell phone plans on their own. We will figure it out!
     
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  14. isisdave

    isisdave TUG Member

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    Don't forget it has to be a GSM phone.
     
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  15. EJC

    EJC TUG Member

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    Republic Wireless is a cell phone service that depends a lot on WiFi. As long as you are on WiFi, you can call back to the USA from anywhere for no extra fee. At least that is how their older plans were. My Republic phone is a Moto X. It is several years old. That phone has 3 levels of plans. The cheapest is Wi-Fi only and it is literally $5/month plus tax/fees. I rarely use it, but it is good when in in Mexico for an extended vacation and worried about using my T-Mobile phone too much. you can still find Republic Wireless Moto X phones used in Ebay, but I don't know if they'd activate that plan anymore. Nowadays, Republic Wireless doesn't offer the Wi-Fi only plan. Nowadays their cheapest plan is, I believe, $15 month. You'd have to research it a bit, but I suspect in a Wi-Fi zone you'd be able to make and receive calls to and from the USA. Another option would be any phone with Skype on it. Skype has a plan for around $30/year that lets you call landlines or cell phones back in the USA for free if you're in WiFi. For another $30/yr or so she can get a Skype number--so you could easily call her. She could use WhatsApp for texting from a Wi-Fi zone. If she needs service when not in a Wi-Fi zone, she'd probably have to go with a local SIM card.
     
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  16. bnoble

    bnoble TUG Member

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    Try Google Fi; I am using that for international travel now. $20 a month for unlimited texting and calling in the US, calling from abroad is $0.20/minute. $10/GB high-speed data charged based on actual usage (i.e. not rounded up), up to a maximum of 6GB after which data is free. (After 15GB you are slowed down to 2G speeds). More or less worldwide. Worked great everywhere I went, except that my specific phone (an unlocked iPhone 6) in China was limited to 2G because it did not support the right frequencies for the carrier Google uses. Just got back from Seoul, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and will be in Amsterdam and Stockholm next week. You might need a US billing address, but I don't think I've seen a "mostly for use in the US" clause.

    A local SIM card is a good option too. I switched to a data-only SIM in Shanghai to get high-speed data, and just ignored calls/texts. I tend to use WeChat in China for messaging, so not having a text line was fine.
     
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  17. Cornell

    Cornell TUG Member

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    I so appreciate everyone's suggestions. After much research into this I've concluded that she's going to have to get a local SIM card or sign up for a plan while she's in Switzerland. This is a teenager we are talking about and she cannot survive a year w/2G speeds and relying only on Wifi. :) This issue is exactly why I want her to do this experience -- her phone is important to her and she'll have to figure this out on her own when she gets there! Independence!
     

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