In a move sure to please international travelers based in the United States, AT&T has announced new international data packages, to be added to domestic calling and data plans, that are in some cases less expensive than the existing plans, and in all cases more than double the monthly data allowance. The new packages, for iPhone users and other smartphone customers, went into effect on 17 July 2011.
The least expensive international data package, available for $24.99 per month, jumps from a 20 MB/month allowance to 50 MB, and the most expensive, at $199.99 per month, quadruples from a 200 MB/month allowance to 800 MB. Two offerings between those drop in price and increase in allowance: the $59.99/month 50 MB package becomes a $49.99/month 125 MB package, and the $119.99/month 100 MB package becomes a $99.99/month 275 MB package. In all cases, an overage rate of $10 per 10 MB of data applies if the customer exceeds the data allowance in a billing cycle.
AT&T’s new package rates apply in “over 100 countries” of the “more than 200 countries” in which the company offers data roaming. In the others, pay-per-use rates apply.
We suspect casual travelers will still want to keep their data usage to a minimum while roaming outside the United States, but AT&T’s new add-on packages offer more breathing room for those who’d like the security blanket of having data available for sparing use. (If you use cellular data while roaming internationally without activating such a plan in advance, your usage will be billed at the crazy $19.95 per MB rate, so it’s absolutely worth signing up for a plan.)