One of the major stipulations of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger was that T-Mobile would maintain existing plans or offer replacement plans of equal features and value. A legacy Sprint plan add-on lovingly called the “Japan Plan”, so popular it has its own Subreddit, offered talk, text, and data roaming in Japan for just $5 per month. Fans of the add-on have been hoping that T-Mobile will maintain it for the foreseeable future, but it now appears that will not be the case.
According to a document shared with us here at The T-Mo Report, embedded below, T-Mobile is ending the Sprint Japan Roaming Add-On on September 15th. The add-on will no longer be available for purchase on August 11th.
On August 11th, T-Mobile will send a text notification to affected customers. The benefit will end on September 15th, at which point roaming in Japan will be covered by the standard international roaming included in their plan. Texting will remain free, but voice minutes will go from free to $0.25 per minute. Data prices and availability will vary based on the plan.
Sprint customers who have switched to a T-Mobile SIM (TNX) and have Sprint MAX, Unlimited Plus, Unlimited Premium, or MAX UP w/Sprint ONE will be eligibile for 5GB of high-speed data in Japan. Customers who have not yet switched to a T-Mobile SIM, or who do not have one of those plans, will only get unlimited data at 256kbps.
Obviously this is a huge hit to customers with this add-on who regularly rely on it. It’s likely T-Mobile will face quite a lot of backlash from customers losing out on this feature. Previously, the carrier seemed to indicate that they were going to maintain legacy features like this when they fixed a bug on some legacy Sprint plans. Unfortunately that now seems to not be the case.
T-Mobile will likely not see any repercussions from this decision, either. The Japan Add-On is technically a feature and not a phone plan, so it likely isn’t a violation of the merger agreement. That being said, removing the feature is definitely against the spirit of the agreement, and is an unfortunate decision.
Impacted customers will be sent an SMS starting August 11th.