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The other day, I was poking around in my online T-Mobile account, and noticed that I was eligible to add an extra data line to my account. Since T-Mobile does not charge its postpaid customers a monthly fee for “On Demand” tablet lines (you only pay for data passes, if you want them), and T-Mobile also offers all its tablet lines 200MB of data each month for free, I thought I’d go ahead and add a free tablet line for my account. If T-Mobile wants to give me something for free, who am I to refuse it – even if it will probably go unused most of the time?

After receiving the free SIM card and activating it using my Google Nexus 7 by ASUS, I signed in to my account again to make sure that the data was added, but I noticed something interesting: I have two tablet lines, and my old one said “Free Data for Life,” while the new one I had just activated said “North America Free Data for Life.”

That’s right – in addition to its regular Simple Choice plans, T-Mobile has added free high speed data roaming in Canada and Mexico to its completely 100% free “Free Data for Life” offering. If you are a postpaid customer, you can get this right now – just add a new tablet line, select “On Demand” for your data plan (so you won’t have to pay anything each month), and when you get your SIM, activate the “Free Data for Life” feature. That’s it. (You might need to contact customer service to do this for you – I had to chat with a T-Mobile rep, since I didn’t see the option for “Free Data for Life” in the activation screen on my tablet when the SIM arrived.)

What if you already have a tablet line, and you have the old “Free Data for Life” promo that doesn’t include Canada and Mexico? My older tablet line was in this situation, and at first customer service told me that it was not possible to change the promo. However, after a little pressing, I was able to accomplish this, albeit in a slightly roundabout way:

  1. Have the rep remove your old “Free Data for Life” promo.
  2. Attempt to re-add “Free Data for Life” using the www.t-mobile.com/connectme.
  3. If you are unable to do this, have a T-Mobile rep online or on the phone re-add “Free Data for Life” – the version that they add will automatically include Canada and Mexico. You can confirm this by signing in to your account, and confirming that “North America” appears in the name. Note: T-Mobile reps are unable to convert this feature – the only way to do this is to have them remove the old one, and then add the new one.