However, they stepped things up in an unbelievable way with a recent change to their Simple Choice plans – unlimited, worldwide data at no extra charge.
I traveled via Vancouver, and before the plane even arrived at the gate, I already knew what gate to head to for my ongoing connection. I spent the bulk of my time in Malaysia, and while it was easy to get local service with Maxis (via their Hotlink products) previously, being able to communicate while still inside the baggage claim area definitely beats that. On my return, due to a deviously hidden change in my flight schedule, I was stuck in Hong Kong for a day; fortunately Valerie noticed this in time for me to get a hotel, which sure beats spending more than a day in the airport.


I have no doubt that with the plans I’ve had in the past, the data I used on this one-week trip alone would have run me many thousands of dollars. I also have to say that the value of Google Now is massively multiplied by an always-on connection that works almost anywhere in the world.
I mentioned that T-Mobile was pretty good about providing an unlock code that allowed us to use a local SIM; it was an easy interaction with their customer service department to get this done. It was pretty empowering to be able to rely on connectivity while finding my way around on a largely unplanned stay where the short duration would have dissuaded me from finding local options.


I find Google Now occasionally handy here at home, but having up-to-the minute gate assignments, currency tools, guides to the place I was going, a quick translator (Malay-only labels!), and other such things was significantly more useful in a less familiar area.
It was thus refreshing to see a carrier make the actual cost of the phone clear, and to offer pricing plans that don’t effectively penalize you for sticking with an older device.



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