Is T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan that simple?

If you have an unlocked GSM phone, you can easily avoid buying and carrying around a bunch of SIM cards with you especially if you’re traveling to a bunch of different countries by subscribing to any T-Mobile Simple Choice plan. They include unlimited data and SMS, and phone calls are 20 cents per minute. (I use my Google Voice number to get around that.) Check out the full list of supported countries, but I’m going to be keeping a running tally of how well the service really performs in each city I visit.

Jump directly to a country or city:


Telstra was the 3G provider in the cities of Australia, but much like New Zealand, if you’re driving between cities, you may or may not stay connected. Notably, Lady Elliot Island has no connectivity whatsoever. (2016-12-05)

Almost summertime in Sydney



T-Mobile A connects at LTE, but since 2016-09-01, my speeds have been throttled at EDGE since faster international roaming speeds were offered as part of a temporary promotion for the summer Olympics. (2016-09-05)

Viennese summer weather

Czech Republic


T-Mobile CZ usually connected at LTE with an occasional drop to 3G or EDGE, but there were never any dead spots. Again, my speeds were throttled at the EDGE rate anyway. (2016-09-09)

Starting to get into chillier climes

Ceske Budejovice

I never noticed my connection with T-Mobile CZ dropping completely: it was mostly on LTE with an occasional switch to 3G. Towards the end of my stay in Olomouc, I switched to the T-Mobile One+ plan, which doubles international data roaming speeds for $25/mo. (2016-09-18)

Nice weather in the CR

Cesky Krumlov

In this touristy UNESCO town, T-Mobile CZ stayed steady at LTE. Towards the end of my stay in Olomouc, I switched to the T-Mobile One+ plan, which doubles international data roaming speeds for $25/mo. (2016-09-16)

Steady as she goes


Although I’ve been relegated to EDGE speeds, the service that T-Mobile CZ provided here felt slightly faster for some reason. Maybe I’m delusional now from having to use it for over a week. I never noticed my LTE connection ever downgrading in this little university town. (2016-09-11)

Still warm during the day



The connection was spotty, but I could occasionally get 3G service from T-Mobile HR. (2016-08-23)


You can get relatively good LTE coverage from T-Mobile HR in most parts of Split. Sometimes, it’ll drop to 3G, but rarely will it be completely disconnected. Even in most parts of Marjan Park are okay. (2016-08-25)

Good job, T-Mobile!



Tele2 goes up to 3G, but I didn’t find the connection wholly reliable even in Old Town. I also wasn’t successful in using the city-provided wifi around the city. (2016-07-21)

Tallinn's lower temperatures were a welcome break from the heat wave in Paris.



Unless you’re riding the Metro, Orange provides either LTE or 3G coverage. (2016-07-19)

Paris: the hottest day of the year and no air conditioning...



T-Mobile was connected via 3G for most of my afternoon there. (2016-09-21)

Beautiful weather in Saxony


LTE was spot on by T-Mobile in this charming Thuringian city. (2016-09-25)

Indian summer in Erfurt


In this suburb of Dachau, T-Mobile (also known as was connected via LTE. (2016-09-29)

Continuation of summer in September


T-Mobile provides a solid LTE connection even in this little Saxon town in East Germany. Sometimes, I felt like stuff wasn’t loading even though my phone said it was connected, but for the most part, it worked well. (2016-09-22)

Fall has come!


I guess the area around Munich is where T-Mobile likes to be called Either way, LTE was the name of the game at this bastion of Oktoberfest. (2016-09-29)

Good start to Oktoberfest


In this 170-person village, O2 provided EDGE service, but luckily, my hosts had lightning fast wifi because they’re located 2km outside of Illesheim, where there’s a US army base.

Small village



Cosmote had LTE and 3G coverage around most of Athens. I ran into very few dead spots while walking around the city, and only when the metro was deep underground was when I was connected to EDGE or lost connection completely. (2016-08-18)

The cellular gods smile kindly on Athens.


Kythnos is technically an island, not a city. I spent most of my time in Trivlaka Bay, where I had no connection whatsoever and was dependent on my hosts’ wifi network. But in Merihas and Dryopida, I got 3G coverage from Cosmote (2016-08-20)

In the towns



T-Mobile HU was almost always connected via 3G, including in the deep metro system. I found out on 1 September that my up to LTE speeds were temporary for the summer Olympics, so in the middle of my stay in Budapest, the data connection suddenly dropped to EDGE speeds even though the provider information on my phone shows 3G or higher. That’s lame, T-Mobile! (2016-09-02)

Hungary does 3G



I didn’t actually leave the airport since I had what amounted to less than an hour of layover time, but I had LTE coverage while I was there. NOVA was the local provider. (2016-07-19)

Keflavik weather


From Tokyo to Kyushu to Okinawa, Softbank provided fairly consistent 3G connectivity. (2016-12-28)

Warm winter in Naha



Tele2 goes up to 3G, and although there were some rare dead spots in Old Town, for the most part the speeds and connectivity seemed way better than in Tallinn. I even relied on my personal hotspot on my phone to connect my tablet to the outside world since my hostel’s wifi networks were not the best. (2016-07-24)

Riga was markedly warmer than Tallinn.


Tele2 goes up to 3G, and I was surprised at how few dead spots there were even while I was hiking around the outskirts of town. (2016-07-23)

Sigulda is slightly cooler than Riga, possibly because of all the green space.



See a pattern yet? Yes, it’s Tele2 again, and they provide up to 3G speeds. I did encounter the rare dead spot while wandering around, but for the most part, it worked great. (2016-07-27)

More hot weather in Vilnius

New Zealand

Vodafone NZ provided 3G in the cities, but coverage was much flakier between outposts of civilization. (2016-11-24)

Coldest in Wanaka Warmest in Akaroa



3G was consistently available from NOS throughout the various neighborhoods of Lisbon. (2016-10-16)

Lucky weather in Lisbon


NOS does it again with reliable 3G access in Porto. (2016-10-19)

A touch of rain in Porto



mt:s keeps you connected via 3G pretty consistently in city center. I was happy with the reliable service! (2016-08-29)

Consistent 3G service in Belgrade



AVEA provides LTE service, which was unexpected. Despite that welcome news, my connection was unreliable even when I was sitting on a bus or walking around old Istanbul. You’ll probably notice that the provider keeps changing between AVEA, Turk Telekom, and Turkcell. (2016-08-11)

Argh, why did I pick August to come to Turkey?



I was connected to Vodafone’s 3G network except in the subways where I sometimes had EDGE network access. (2016-08-03)

Kiev was pretty hot.


In the center of the city, Vodafone’s 3G network was pretty good, but I was staying south of city center, where EDGE was more dominant. (2016-08-04)

Also warm in Lviv but not as hot as Kiev


A small town outside of Kiev still has EDGE network coverage through Vodafone, so although slow, I could usually connect somehow. (2016-08-01)

Malyn is living on the EDGE.


This village has only 21 people, so what kind of service do you expect? It was fine for me, though: who needs electricity and running water 100% of the time? (2016-07-30)

Written on December 25, 2016