Trying to find out the best plans, features, minutes, and discounts among the carriers is enough to drive most business’ telecom departments into submission – the most dreadful of all of these complexities is international roaming.

In one such instance, an employee of a well-known company traveled internationally without notifying their company. The person racked up $5,000 worth of overages in roaming and streaming changes. Renodis was brought in to work with the carrier to help to reduce the charges, but not without significant work on both sides.

As you may have heard, T-Mobile just announced that it will drop international data and text roaming charges in more than 100 countries. Great! But what does that really mean?

What is typically done to prevent international roaming charges?

Let’s take a step back. Without the New T-Mobile plan, the way to deal with or prevent international roaming charges is to make a feature change to your international traveler’s phone plan before your travels by temporally adding an international plan or using a Brightroam device. Brightroams are an affordable device that could be activated on a short term basis (we also recommended purchasing unlocked GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) iPhones directly from Apple to activate for China use as needed).

T-Mobile International travel and roaming plan: What’s in the details?

T-Mobile has revamped its plans with the idea of keeping it simple for businesses to make the best choices when it comes to international travel.

In their Simple Choice Plans, in addition to unlimited talk, text, and data while on T-Mobile’s home network — you’re covered worldwide. Their qualifying plans include unlimited data and texting in more than 100 countries. (*See the full list at the below)

What does this mean for you?  It allows you to easily check Google Maps (handy if you’re lost abroad), check in and update social sites, and send emails without roaming changes. Netflix might be a little tough since it only provides 2G speeds. But if you want the extra speed, a one day pass for 100MB is $15, 7 day pass for 200MB is $25, and $50 for 500MB over 14 days.

So that means for International Travel:

  • Calling: 20 cents per minute in more than 100 countries*
  • Texting: Unlimited in more than 100 countries* included at no extra charge
  • Data: Unlimited in more than 100 countries* included at no extra charge

Note:  texting and data usage is where we usually see the most overages for international travelers.

The New Plan will start on Oct. 31st (maybe to scare the other carriers on Halloween!) and signup should be easy since T-Mobile announced the elimination of the traditional carrier contracts this past spring. So there will be no locking into a 2-year contract, no annual service contract requirements, no early termination fees, and you can upgrade when you want.

T-Mobile also said that it’s 4LTE nationwide network will be covering 200 million plus customers in over 220 metro areas within the U.S.

And if that’s not enough, to help get the word out T-Mobile has signed an agreement with the pop recording star Shakira for exclusive access to her new music, which will result in unique content for T-Mobile customers.

T-Mobile International travel and roaming plan: Summary

You don’t think twice when you send an email or Skype someone half way around the world, nor should you. The same should be said of our smart phones – and T-Mobile has provided a good step in that direction.

T-Mobile is introducing a game changer of an idea that really should have been done long ago. We are living in a small global society without boundaries when it comes to technology and this is how a lot of users see their mobile phones. In my opinion, T-Mobile has listened to the masses. With the roll out of their Simple Choice Plans, they will make international travel easier on the pocket book and save time for their users.

Only time will tell if this move will help T-Mobile gain market share from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint or just make their existing client base happier. Either way it is a good way to shake things up in the highly competitive world of mobility.

*Country locations

Aland Islands Easter Island Lithuania St. Kitts and Nevis
Anguilla Ecuador Luxembourg St. Lucia
Antigua and Barbuda Egypt Malaysia St. Martin
Argentina El Salvador Malta St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Armenia Estonia Martinique Suriname
Aruba Faeroe Islands Mexico Svalbard
Australia Finland Moldova Sweden
Austria France Montserrat Switzerland
Bahrain French Guiana Netherlands Taiwan
Barbados Germany Netherlands Antilles Thailand
Belgium Ghana New Zealand Trinidad & Tobago
Bermuda Greece Nicaragua Turkey
Bolivia Grenada Norway Turkmenistan
Bonaire Guadeloupe Pakistan Turks and Caicos Islands
Brazil Guatemala Panama Ukraine
British Virgin Islands Guyana Peru United Arab Emirates
Bulgaria Hong Kong Philippines United Kingdom
Cambodia Hungary Poland Uruguay
Canada Iceland Portugal Uzbekistan
Cayman Islands India Qatar Vatican City
Chile Indonesia Romania Venezuela
China Iraq Russia Vietnam
Christmas Island Ireland Saudi Arabia Zambia

 

 

CIOs and IT leaders have a tough job. They need to deliver results, hire the right talent, make sure they have the right technology in place, and be relevant to the business. The worst thing in the world is when an IT organization has to use key resources and time to deal with a telecom issue that dramatically impacts their business.

Telecom is not perfect. In fact it can be chaotic. Most IT leaders don’t even like dealing with telecom. Unfortunately telecom problems will happen, issues will arise, and your business will be impacted. There are many things in the back of the IT leader’s mind, but some things are more dramatic than others. Let’s take a look at 5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night:

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #1: Carrier Service Outages

Outages cause major disruption. It impacts customers, results in lost business and may lead to poor reputation. Service outages also result in critical IT resources spending valuable time trying to resolve these issues. Whether they are handling help desk calls or working with the carriers to get the issue resolved quickly, they are not spending time on more important IT initiatives.

As a preventative measure, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place or a backup connection. Make sure to do your due diligence to find the right provider who has a proven track record for uptime and getting issues resolved quickly.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #2: Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices

The growth of mobility has spurred great opportunity for businesses, but it has also created potential nightmares for IT leaders.  Critical customer data or company data can easily be lost if a mobile device is misplaced or stolen. BYOD has created many risks for companies who allow employees to bring their own mobile device (iPads, iPhones, tablets, etc).

Not having the right security policy or mobile device management platform in place creates risks to your organization, and a nightmare for IT leaders.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #3: Fiber or Line Cut

Some things you can control, some things you can’t. When a backhoe goes through your fiber line, the only thing you can do is hope the problem is solved quickly and efficiently with little impact to the business (if that is even possible). Just as a carrier service outage causes a major disruption, so does a fiber line cut. Most companies have a plan in place to deal with this type of situation. Some companies do not, and they pay the price.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #4: Data Security Breach

Imagine this scenario. An employee was let go or leaves your company and in the process takes critical company data with them. Whether an employee steals data, your network is attacked by a virus or malware, or someone hacks into your system – the nightmare is made real for the IT leader. Having a secure network and the right platforms/processes in place to protect your company data will mitigate (not eliminate) the risk of your data being breached.

5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #5: Carrier Implementation

So you feel good about that three year contract you just signed with your carrier. You have confidence in their ability to deliver and they tell you time and time again everything will be “fine”. Think again.

Now it’s implementation time. You may feel like you did your due diligence in selecting the right carrier and technology, but if you 1) don’t have the right resources and plan in place to manage the implementation process and; 2) have not identified the risks involved in the implementation, you are setting yourself and your company up for failure.

Let’s face it, dealing with carriers is not fun and implementations do go bad. Having the right plan in place, resources who know how to work with carriers, escalate issues, and have the resources needed to solve problems when they arise will help mitigate implementation nightmares.

Preventative Measures and Expert Partners Help IT Leaders Sleep Soundly

The fallout from these types of real-life nightmares result in lost customers, poor reputations, lost revenues, lost confidence, and sometimes… lost jobs.

But having the right disaster recovery plan in place, the right technology to protect and secure data and mobile devices, and a plan to implement carrier services will help mitigate these risks in the future and more importantly – you will get more sleep at night! Not sure where to start with preventative action? No need to procrastinate. Enlist the help of a trusted partner to get you started in the right direction.

Are there any other telecom nightmares that keep you up at night? Comment below.

To suggest that telecom carriers lack a reputation for altruism is a pretty non-controversial opinion.  There is no harm of course in any business pursuing a healthy profit and telecom companies should not be scorned for the ultimate pursuit of capitalism. However, the concern that most mid-sized firms (500-5000 employees) face is not what the carrier reveals during contract discussions but rather what they don’t say and what you wish they did in the spirit of long term partnerships vs. short term financial gymnastics.

Inevitably, even while negotiating the most comprehensive, well laid out contract, there will likely be things left unsaid by your vendors that you really wish they would say. We’re referring to how telecom carriers conveniently lack that extra consultative instinct to to position your organization for the least risky, and most cost-effective solution for the long term.

Here a few things telecom carriers should tell you , but rarely do in the interests of trying to get the best deal for them vs. just you:

  1. Risk Mitigation Clauses offered proactively vs. reactively.
    Every business knows that the only certainty is change. As such most carriers have standard language that allows for multiple unforeseeable business changes such as business downturn, technology migrations, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were offered vs. bargained for?
  2. Market-leading pricing for like-sized firms the first time vs. the 5th time.
    There is nothing more frustrating than buying a new car. Every ‘deal’ often has a different price even though the buyers are all the same. Don’t you wish your Carrier treated you the exact same as the last best deal they gave a similarly sized firm?
  3. Don’t forget about the implementation costs-by the way, let’s see how we can work with you on that.
    So you’ve negotiated a pretty decent contract with impressive terms, then you get hit with implementation costs and realize that you may have to dedicate a full-time employee to manage the implementation. Some carriers include implementation costs within the service package while others can leave you hanging or even charge for it. Wouldn’t it be nice for your vendor to have a solid calculation of all of the hard and soft costs and a cost-effective implementation solution and offer you the transition credits up front vs. a usually tenuous negotiation process?

You can’t get away from vendor negotiations and certainly don’t want to be left disappointed all the time leaving the negotiating table wanting more. These are just a few of the simple things that your Carriers will likely relent on if you know to ask (and if you hold firm to voting with your wallet). But, wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to ask for them every time? Take charge of the relationship so that you’re not left wishing for more.

Engaging an expert in telecommunications management, like Renodis, can ensure you get what you want out of every vendor interaction.

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