Confirmed: Sprint's new 'Open World' international roaming service challenges T-Mobile's 'Mobile without Borders'

Sprint (NYSE: S) today unveiled its new "Open World" international roaming service that makes unlimited calling and texting to Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries free for its U.S.-based customers. The offering also gives Sprint customers free calls and texts and 1 GB of high-speed data when they are traveling in those countries.

Open World is essentially Sprint's answer to T-Mobile US' "Mobile without Borders" offering, which T-Mobile announced last month, that extends its service to Mexico and Canada. For its part, T-Mobile's offer represents a counter to AT&T, which spent more than $4 billion purchasing two wireless operators in Mexico with plans to create an LTE network spanning the United States and Mexico.

"We've got you covered with Free Unlimited calling and text when you're traveling in Canada, Mexico and most other countries across Latin America," Sprint boasted of its new offering. Countries included in the offering are Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.

Sprint also said that it will offer free texting, calling for 20 cents per minute, and $30 per GB pricing to customers who travel in other countries including Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Palestinian territories, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In its terms and conditions for Open World, Sprint noted that it is a "limited time offer," but the carrier did not provide an end date to the promotion. The carrier also said the service requires an international-capable phone, and it noted that it may terminate customers' service for "excessive roaming."

It's unclear what Sprint previously charged for communications to and roaming in Mexico, Canada and the other countries included in the carrier's new Open World offering. A Sprint representative wasn't immediately available to comment.

RCR Wireless News first reported on Sprint's Open World offering, citing details from Reddit. Details of Open World were posted to Sprint's site today, but the carrier has not yet issued a press release on the offer.

Sprint's new offering is the latest effort by the carrier to counteract competition from T-Mobile and others. Shortly after Sprint replaced CEO Dan Hesse with Marcelo Claure, the carrier offered to provide service at the half the price charged by AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Earlier this month, Sprint lost its No. 3 position in the U.S. wireless market in terms of subscribers to T-Mobile. Sprint ended the second quarter with 57.668 million total customers compared to T-Mobile's 58.908 million. Sprint executives, including CEO Marcelo Claure, have sought to downplay the importance of the rankings and have said Sprint is focused on improving its network and the customer experience.

Sprint is also embarking on a new network improvement plan, dubbed "Next Generation Network," that includes densifying its network with more macro sites and small cells. The carrier also said that it plans to add LTE to "nearly all" of its 800 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2.5 GHZ sites.

For more:
- see these two Sprint pages

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