US carrier T-Mobile has rolled out a new prepaid SIM plan with free domestic calls plus 'unlimited data' for just US$30.
But as the package’s name indicates, the T-Mobile Tourist Plan is far better for tourists than it is for business travellers – especially if you intend to return to the US on even a semi-regular basis.
One reason is because the SIM expires after 21 days: it’s a single-use SIM which can’t be topped up, extended or re-activated on a subsequent visit.
That’s fine if you’re unlikely to be coming back to the USA, but less so if you want to use the same number on return trips so that US clients and other contacts can easily call you the next time you’re visiting stateside.
There’s also a catch to the ‘unlimited data’ bit: you’ll get 2GB at 4G speeds, after which the connection is caped at significantly slower and barely useful 2G speeds.
The T-Mobile Tourist Plan lets you turn your smartphone into a WiFi hotspot which can be used by your laptop or tablet, but such habits are likely to see you reach that 2GB/4G ceiling even faster.
You get 1,000 minutes of calls and unlimited texting within the USA plus unlimited texts to some 140 countries (including Australia) but there’s no overseas call allowance, although you can of course fire up the likes of Skype or FaceTime over 4G.
On the whole, business travellers are better off choosing a more conventional T-Mobile plan, such as one of the carrier’s Simple Choice Prepaid SIM deals.
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