International Travel: T-Mobile (+GV) & Keepgo

I returned from a 17-day trip to Austria and Hungary on Sunday.

Thanks to the advice from some HoFo forum members, I bought a Keepgo "Pisces" eSIM, 5GB for $14 on 3/11/23, with 365-day expiration, for my wife's Pixel 3a. I installed the eSIM via QR code. Unfortunately, it only installed APN "", which during my reading seemed to be only for Greece, Turkey, and France. When we landed in Austria, data didn't work, as expected. So, I added and enabled APN "orange", and data worked. It's too bad the QR code eSIM setup didn't add both APNs, but since I'd done some research before, it wasn't too much of an issue.

I also had a bonus free 3GB code for Keepgo. I stupidly added it on 4/6/23, just before we left, instead of waiting to see if it would be needed during the trip. My wife only used 2945MB of the original 5120MB (5GB), so the extra 3GB wasn't even needed for this trip. The reason, in hindsight, I should have waited to add the bonus free 3GB code is because when I added it, the expiration became 365 days from 4/6/23, the date I added it. So, I really should have kept it until just before the original expiration date, 3/11/24, and added it then, to push out the expiration for another whole 365 days. Oh, will only cost $3 to roll over the remaining 5247MB (8192MB (8GB) - 2945MB Used) of data for another 365 days before the new 4/5/24 expiration date, so it certainly wasn't a very costly mistake. I just thought I'd mention it in case anyone else is in the same situation with Keepgo.

After I changed the APN, Keepgo data worked great for her communications using Messenger, TextNow, Viber, and Skype, for Google Maps, and for Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other message boards she uses, and for general browsing. Bottom line, at least based on using the Keepgo "Pisces" eSIM in Austria and Hungary in April, 2023, I highly recommend Keepgo.

For my Pixel 3a XL, I used the Magenta Business Tablet Promo plan I had originally seen posted on HoFo in 2022, but didn't actually sign up for until January, 2023.

Because I've used Google Voice over data only since 2017 for all my calls and messages, I had long ago signed up for the T-Mobile $10/mo, 2GB/mo Postpaid MI plan, and it was great, because I almost never used more than 2GB/mo, it provided LTE data, then unlimited 128Kbps in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and unlimited 128Kbps in most international destinations, which was still enough to use GV during past trips.

Then, in January, 2023, I finally got off my butt and signed up for the $10/mo Business Postpaid unlimited Tablet Plan before it was discontinued, which works fine in my Pixel 3a XL. The included 5GB LTE, then unlimited 256Kbps, in 13 international destinations, including Austria and Hungary, was a nice upgrade from my prior T-Mobile MI data plan!

The $10/mo Business Postpaid unlimited Tablet Plan worked great in Austria and Hungary for GV, Messenger, TextNow, Viber, and Skype, for Google Maps, and for Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other message boards I use, and for general browsing.

Also, GV worked flawlessly to call restaurants and the guesthouses we stayed in, at $0.01/min in Austria, and $0.04/min in Hungary. I started with $5 in GV credit, and now have $3.12 remaining, so it was very economical to use for calling real phone #s in Austria and Hungary.

Anyway, that's what has worked for us for this trip. If our next trip includes somewhere NOT in one of the 13 international destinations where my T-Mobile data plan includes 5GB of LTE data, I may just stick with the included unlimited 256Mbps, or I may get myself a Keepgo eSIM, too.

1 Like

I was just in Austria and Hungary too with my younger daughter! As well as Poland and a day trip to Bratislava.

I alluded to this in another thread but I used this SIM from Three UK:

Unlike your Keepgo eSIM, the Three UK one gives you native voice and text for calling wthin Europe. I found that very useful for calling/texting hotels as well as our friends in Vienna. I also needed native voice/text for my wife, when she did a separate European spring break with my older daughter the first week in April. (My kids go to different school systems and had different spring breaks.) She went to the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and she made a bunch of calls while in the U.K. She tells me that it worked fine there too.

The APN on Three UK auto-installed on my iPhone SE without a glitch.

I also tried the Three UK SIM with an iPhone 5s that I gave my daughter for the trip (mostly to take pictures and listen to Spotify) and it seemed to work was nice to see a 5s working fully again.

For calls back to the U.S. you can't do that with the Three K service. However, I managed fine with wifi calling via my Mint Mobile service on eSIM (on my iPhone SE). I think I missed SMS texts sent to my U.S. number but all my iMessages came thru fine. I also had TextNow in case I had to make a call back to the U.S. while on the go, but I didn't need that.

1 Like

That's for sure a great plan for anyone that needs a local European phone # for 30 days or less. Thanks for posting about it! I'll definitely be adding it to my notes for future reference for myself or others.

In the case of my wife's phone, a local phone # wasn't needed, and Keepgo's 365-day expiration and $3/year rollover was a nice feature that appealed to us.

Anyway, it's really great that there are multiple low-cost options available to US residents for international travel!