T-Mobile: Less than 1% of international roamers pay to upgrade from 2G speeds

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) is satisfied that the 2G EDGE data speeds customers get when roaming on its Simple Global plans without roaming fees are sufficient because less than 1 percent of customers on such plans have opted to pay for higher speeds so far, according to an executive from the carrier.

Drew Kelton, T-Mobile's executive vice president of B2B, acknowledged that some customers have issues with the speeds, but he said that less than 1 percent of the 2 million customers who have used Simple Global since it was launched last fall have chosen higher speeds.

"It tells us we should only pay for what we need," he said at the Genband Perspectives conference, according to LightReading, indicating that most users have been happy with the speeds for activities like Web browsing and checking e-mail.

Under the plans, T-Mobile's no-contract "Simple Choice" individual and business customers get unlimited data and texting in more 120 countries worldwide, and only pay 20 cents per minute for voice calls when roaming in those countries. However, the data rates are capped at EDGE speeds of around 128 Kbps. T-Mobile offers various levels of speed boosts to customers who want faster speeds: $15 for 100 MB of faster speeds per day; $25 for 200 MB per week or $50 for 500 MB for two weeks.

What's next for T-Mobile's enterprise business? Kelton said the carrier could potentially launch a device with a virtualized app that lets users have multiple personalities and multiple phone numbers, similar to AT&T's (NYSE: T) Toggle. He also said T-Mobile might launch something like a "Business Elite" plan with everything included to manage legacy platforms and integrated over-the-top services.

T-Mobile's enterprise presence is still relatively small compared to other Tier 1 carriers. For now, T-Mobile is trumpeting the gains it says it has made in the B2B market thanks to Simple Global. In May, T-Mobile said that in the six months from October 2013 to March 2014 when traveling internationally, its customers called three times more often, texted seven times more often and used 28 times more data than before, compared to a 12-month period preceding the Simple Global launch last October.

T-Mobile also said more than 2 million people have roamed, texted or called in a Simple Global country.

For more:
- see this LightReading article

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