MobileX and International Roaming

There’s been talk elsewhere in Community about international roaming here and a bit further back here.

So, I thought I’d mention MobileX’s proposed approach to international roaming. Similar to what Mobi is working on and what Verizon’s Visible used to do and unlike many MVNOs, MobileX operates its own core infrastructure. In theory, this allows MobileX to strike its own deals for international access without relying on its upstream U.S. carrier partner.

MobileX’s U.S. carrier partner is Verizon. MobileX’s goal is to strike similar partnerships with carriers in other countries. Ultimately, the goal is for cell data purchased in any country from MobileX to work in any country where MobileX has a carrier partnership. Data purchased in the U.S. would just work outside the U.S. (and vice versa). MobileX calls this GlobalX. Here’s some additional detail.

The biggest drawback with international roaming is expense. Often, it’s significantly less expensive albeit less convenient to purchase local (in country) cellular service when traveling internationally. With dual SIM via eSIM phones becoming common in the U.S., using local service when traveling internationally simultaneously with one’s domestic U.S. service is increasingly feasible. The days of SIM swapping for international travelers are numbered.

As an aside in addition to Google Fi and Mint Mobile, another MVNO US Mobile has international roaming in beta. US Mobile’s international roaming relies on Verizon’s arrangements with international carriers and currently requires a $500 deposit.