T-Mobile offer unlimited internet whilst abroad for £15/month on BlackBerry tariffs

August 23rd, 2011

T-Mobile’s “BlackBerry World Email” booster provides unlimited internet and e-mail across the world for £15.32 per 30 days. It could save you a fortune.

If you’re going abroad on holiday or for business, you’ll normally want to watch your mobile phone usage very carefully due to the extortionate roaming charges imposed by mobile phone operators. This is particularly true for people who want to use their smartphones abroad: access to data services such as e-mail, the internet and Facebook will typically cost between £4 and £8 per megabyte whilst you’re abroad. This leads to huge charges – approximately £250 to use your smartphone abroad for just a week.

T-Mobile’s “BlackBerry World Email 30 Day Booster” is a great option for anyone who wants to stay in touch with their friends whilst abroad. For £15.32/month, you’ll get unlimited access to the internet, e-mail and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) wherever you are in the world (subject to coverage). It works outside the EU and you can either purchase the booster for just a month (if you’re making a one-off trip) or permanently if you’re a frequent traveller.

T-Mobile are currently offering a large range of BlackBerry tariffs starting from £15.31/month.

How much would I normally have to pay to use the internet abroad?

According to billmonitor, the typical smartphone user consumes 147MB of data per month. For a typical user spending 7 days abroad and using their smartphone as normal, approximately 34MB of data will be consumed. This would cost approximately £250 under standard data roaming rates (though a consumer protection measure exists: your mobile operator will normally cut you off at £48 if you’re travelling within the EU). Due to the huge costs of using data abroad, we typically recommend that readers disable data roaming on their smartphones to avoid huge charges.

What does the “BlackBerry World Email” booster offer?

For £15.32, you’ll get unlimited browsing, e-mail and BBM on your BlackBerry for one month. You can use these services whenever you’re abroad subject to coverage.

In which countries can I use the “BlackBerry World Email” booster?

You should be able to use the “BlackBerry World Email” booster in any country for which T-Mobile offers a roaming service with either GPRS or 3G connectivity. T-Mobile provides a list of these countries on their website. To check whether you can use the “BlackBerry World Email” booster in a certain country, select the relevant country from the dropdown menu, click on the “Networks” tab and check to make sure there’s a “Yes” in either the GPRS or 3G column.

Is there a fair usage policy on the unlimited data?

You’ll need a BlackBerry device to use the “BlackBerry World Email” booster.

According to T-Mobile’s Twitter account, there is no fair usage policy on the “BlackBerry World Email” booster. WirelessWorker.net has a great summary of some of the terms and conditions of the booster.

Can I use tethering on this booster?

No, it is not possible to tether with the “BlackBerry World Email” booster. The one exception is if you’ve got a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet which can be connected to your BlackBerry using the “BlackBerry Bridge”.

Do I need to keep the “BlackBerry World Email” booster for the entirety of my contract?

No, you do not need to keep the “BlackBerry World Email” booster for the entirety of your contract. However, it’ll automatically renew every month once you’ve enabled it. You can call T-Mobile Customer Services on 150 to end the booster once you’re back home. If you’re travelling for leisure (on holiday for example) and you’re not a regular traveller, it’s worth making a note to do this in your diary.

Can I use another smartphone (e.g. iPhone or Android) with this “BlackBerry World” booster?

No. You cannot use the “BlackBerry World Email” booster on a different brand of smartphone such as the iPhone or Android devices. This is because BlackBerry devices are configured differently from most smartphones in that all of your data usage passes through the “BlackBerry Internet Service” (BIS). This is a proprietary service which cannot be accessed with other smartphones. Furthermore, BlackBerry devices also use different APN configurations to other brands of smartphones.

BlackBerry devices tend to use less data as data is compressed through the BlackBerry Internet Service. We believe the reason T-Mobile are offering this deal exclusively to BlackBerry owners is due the lower bandwidth requirements of BlackBerry devices.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer travelling in the EU with a non-BlackBerry smartphone, you could opt for T-Mobile’s “Euro Internet Booster” which offers 50MB of internet in Europe for £10/month (see our guide to data allowances to determine what 50MB actually means). Outside of the EU, you’ve got no option but to pay the standard T-Mobile data roaming charge of £7.50/MB.

Are there any other cost-efficient ways of accessing the internet whilst abroad?

The Kindle 3G offers free web browsing around the world, albeit in a very limited form.

Yes. The 3G version of the Amazon Kindle provides free 3G connectivity worldwide. It includes an experimental and very basic web browser. Whilst it’s no match for a smartphone, it does mean you can access basic information worldwide such as e-mail, weather forecasts and the news for a one-off payment of £151. See our detailed guide to the Kindle’s free worldwide 3G browsing.

I’m switching to T-Mobile. Can I keep my existing phone number?

Yes. Ask your existing network for a PAC Code. This allows you to move your mobile phone number between networks.

Once you’ve received your new BlackBerry from T-Mobile, call up T-Mobile customer services on 150 and give them the PAC Code. T-Mobile will handle the porting of your phone number; it should take no more than 24 hours. Our PAC Code Finder tool can take you through the process step-by-step.

I’m already a T-Mobile BlackBerry customer. How do I get the “BlackBerry World Email” booster?

You can add the “BlackBerry World Email” booster to your account by texting BBROAM to 879. An additional £15.32/month will be added to your mobile phone bill to pay for the booster. It’ll automatically renew every month. If your trip is a one-off, you’ll need to call T-Mobile Customer Services on 150 to end the booster once you’re back home.

Remember that this booster doesn’t change the cost of making calls and texts whilst you’re abroad. You’ll still have to pay T-Mobile’s standard roaming rates for calls and texts. Within the EU, calls cost 36p/min and texts cost 10p. Outside of the EU, it could be as high as £1.50/min for calls and 40p per text message. You can browse the internet, send e-mail and use BBM to your heart’s content though and it won’t cost a thing.

Where can I get a BlackBerry from T-Mobile?

You can order a BlackBerry from T-Mobile through the T-Mobile website.

Tariffs start from £15.31/month for a free BlackBerry Curve 9300 with 100 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited BlackBerry mail.

Like this tip? Get the most from your mobile phone...

  • Discover brand new ways to use your mobile phone
  • Techniques to get more out of your mobile phone for less
  • Be the first to learn about new mobile technology

Enter your email to receive free regular Ken's Tech Tips:

About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 4 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Jon said:

    This wasn’t the first, O2 did a simialar deal for 23.50 which I used all over the world for a few years till they scrapped it. I think this T-Mobile deal has also now been scrapped too – can anyone confirm that?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jon,

      Unfortunately it has been scrapped 🙁 It's now £4/day instead (£120/month) or £48/month in the EU.


  2. @billmonitor said:

    Wow – that is a pretty unpredented move by BB/T-mobile. Have you known of any unlimited roaming data bundles being offered before, Ken? Do you think this is a BB/RIM PR response to recent negative publicity over BBM being used by looters/rioters?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hey Nick,

      Great to hear from you again 🙂 It is a rather unprecedented move I agree! I'm pretty sure this is the first unlimited roaming data bundle in the UK – very few networks actually provide international data bundles. EU data bundles are now becoming reasonably commonplace as the EU put in a 0.5EUR/MB wholesale price limit for data: so the networks get charged up to 44p/MB to provide roaming data. Some networks are providing bundles such as 25MB/day for £2 (Vodafone) and T-Mobile's "Euro Internet Boosters" (£10/month for 50MB in Europe). I don't know if we'll see more international data bundles in the future and for non-BlackBerry phones!


Leave a Reply

E-Mail Notifications: By default, I'll drop you an e-mail when there's a reply to your comment. If you don't want to receive such a notification, please select the "Don't Subscribe" option from the dropdown menu above.