T-Mobile is bringing to an end one of its more generous perks that gave customers traveling to Canada and Mexico free unlimited LTE service. Starting November 12th, T-Mobile is putting a 5GB data cap on LTE usage when traveling outside the US in North America. You’ll still get data after the 5GB limit is hit, but it’ll be throttled to the near-unusable “Simple Global” speed tier, or about 128Kbps. (T-Mobile One Plus customers get 256Kbps, but that’s not much better.)
“Mobile Without Borders is an incredible benefit and allows customers to stay connected when traveling in Canada and Mexico. In order to prevent usage beyond the intent of the product, we implemented a limit on the amount of monthly 4G LTE data,” the carrier explains on its FAQ page. “Less than 1 percent of people with this benefit travel to Mexico and Canada use over 5GB a month.” It’s not entirely clear what “beyond the intent of the product” means, but it’s clear T-Mobile is cracking down on a specific type of customer.
Mobile Without Borders was first launched back in 2015 for customers of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plan, which is the name of the old plan tier that came with unlimited talk and text but hard ceilings on data usage. Mobile Without Borders was an expansion of T-Mobile’s free international data roaming perk first introduced back in 2013, so the carrier has a history of giving North American customers carte blanche access to LTE across the border.
The carrier no longer offers the Simple Choice plan to new subscribers, as it’s switched to exclusively offering its unlimited T-Mobile One offering. But those who are still riding out Simple Choice plans — as well as legacy rate plans — have been able to enjoy Mobile Without Borders regardless. That changes come next month. For T-Mobile One customers, you can purchase high-speed international LTE access for an additional $25 per month.