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chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
reply to BiggA

Re: future t mobile customer former att

said by BiggA:

No wireless company has anything even remotely reasonable for international calling or roaming. Google Voice and Vonage for calling internationally, and local SIMs and XCOM global for roaming are the only way to no end up with a massive bill.

At&t has app similar to funcion in google voice, in that it relays your calls through a gateway number. It requires no prepaid funds just directly bills your CC and u don't have to have a smartphone with AT&T wireless service for this, u can use Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc. Rates are similar with few exceptions where Skype is a lot cheaper to use (like calling abroad on wi-fi back to States).

At&t sells global data allowances. They are small and little pricey. U may feel 50mb is nothing, but lets u use phone abroad for few days on light use. I was able to check many emails and mobile websites, submit a few pics with no overages. Ur only required to keep it for one billing cycle.

I used this feature while I was in Canada and roaming on Rogers and Telus. Often data use report on website updated within 24h but some did not come until few days later. It came fast from Telus but kinda slow from Rogers which doesn't surprise me. For instant accurate data tracking I used data transfer counter inside settings in my iphone. I used Skype for unlimited calls over wi-fi. And for heavier data usage like maps, wi-fi too - Toronto has mesh city-wide wi-fi network and on almost every shop corner a free wifi from Bell.

Of course outside wi-fi range, nothing beats getting local SIM or XCOM when u travel through many countries.

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

That's an app. If they can offer it on an app, why not on their regular plans? Greed maybe?

Domestic data is $10/GB. Global data is $20,000/GB, and even with the absurd plans, is $1000/GB. That's absolutely insane. There is no reason is should cost any more than domestic data. Charge me $10/GB per country I roam in or a flat rate of $.05/MB, $.01/text, and $.10/min plus local termination with free roaming in Canada and Mexico, and I'll be quite happy to use their international service.

What is even more insane is that in about a month and a half, I will be traveling to Barrow, AK, which has no terrestrial communications with the outside world, no 3G, is about 4500 miles from where my account is located, and is about 55,000 signal miles from home (satellite). There, I will be roaming for FREE on a company that competes head to head with AT&T in much of Alaska. Yet, if I go to Montreal, which is 370 miles from "home" and surely connected to the US with at least 10gbps fiber and has HSPA+ on both sides of the border, if I used my AT&T phone, I would be charged $2/minute and $20,000/GB to roam on a carrier that AT&T doesn't compete with. Oh, but roaming on arch-rival Verizon in New Hampshire (ex Unicel GSM) is free.

Quite frankly, if roaming was $1/minute in Barrow, I wouldn't think it that ridiculous, since there just isn't good connectivity up there. However, paying ANYTHING for roaming in Montreal is absolute insanity.

The liability of having a massive bill is too high. Here, at $10/GB, there's not much liability. OMG, $10 of overage for a GB of data. Why can I buy an iPad SIM and tether off of that and get 5GB for $35CAD, but, ignoring currency differences, since they are minimal, even with AT&T's plans, that same amount of data would cost me $5,000? That makes NO SENSE.

If I start traveling internationally a lot, I will have to seriously think about getting an unlocked iPhone. The iPad looks like a better deal though, as Apple has forced carriers to have prepaid plans at reasonable prices, often much more so than prepaid phone SIMs. Throw it in my backpack, and I'll have my own hotspot. For countries where it's not possible to buy a local SIM, than XCOM global will be the way to go.

Until AT&T makes their international plan reasonable, I will be pulling my SIM when traveling outside the US so that those greedy bastards don't rip me off. Same for cruise ships, which I'm pretty sure are 100% hopeless for any kind of connectivity unless you're in a foreign port and can grab a local SIM.


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

3 edits

They provide add-on to regular plans for discounted calling but u still have to pay more for rates than with their app. Even their prepaid virtual card for international calls has higher rates than their own app. My guess is, to push more smart-phones for sale. Greed? Of course for greed, they are business to make money.

No carrier in the world has reasonable international plans! It's not just AT&T. Period. Uk t-mobile charges more for data roaming that either verizon or AT&T. You'll find discounted roaming inside eu from European provider but outside its insane.

Market will pay what it bears. U cite "heavy" use, domestic like use abroad. That's wrong comparison. For light use they are fine and at much better rate than pay as u go no matter how ironic u find it given it is still truly overpriced. There is no strong regulatory body for international roaming nor there is competition there. Your domestic carrier charges u what foreign carrier charges them in roaming agreements. Plus they surely add their own rate to rates already charged by foreign carrier.


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

3 edits
reply to BiggA

said by BiggA:

The iPad looks like a better deal though, as Apple has forced carriers to have prepaid plans at reasonable prices, often much more so than prepaid phone SIMs. Throw it in my backpack, and I'll have my own hotspot. For countries where it's not possible to buy a local SIM, than XCOM global will be the way to go.

Until AT&T makes their international plan reasonable, I will be pulling my SIM when traveling outside the US so that those greedy bastards don't rip me off. Same for cruise ships, which I'm pretty sure are 100% hopeless for any kind of connectivity unless you're in a foreign port and can grab a local SIM.

As long as Ipad allows hotspot functionality ... I guess... Do all tablets allow?

Its not true Apple has forced all carriers. Maybe in the US. But not in Poland ( :P)

»www.t-mobile.pl/pl/indywidualni/···owy_ipad

3 year contract for 500PLN for 110 a month. There are no prepaid plans there. 1 PLN = 0.319 USD. Thats like initial fee $160 and monthly fee $35. Thats expensive for Poland, considering the minimum wage in Poland is $450 a month, with average $1400. Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment in Warsaw is half of that average!

BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to chgo_man99

They should work to get rates down, and how is there not competition? All four carriers do global roaming, and yet none of them have worked to get rates out of the stratosphere. There is no technical reason that international roaming should cost much of anything, yet it is absolutely insane.

Part of the issue is a regulatory body, but even the EU is weak in this regard. They set the limit at $1/MB, which is still totally insane. I think they should have set it at $.05/MB (ignoring $-Euro exchange, since when you're talking about such large numbers, it's almost irrelevant).

Maybe some MVNO should come along and do it, and do it right, and cater to that user base, and force the real carriers to get with the program.

It's interesting that Apple allowed them to do that. Apple seems to be losing it's backbone. It seems the equivalent to the $30 price point with no contract is what they are doing.

That's a very interesting article, I saw something recently about how US companies are losing $6bn of revenue on international roaming because it is so insanely expensive that most people don't use it.

I'm surprised this type of thing hasn't been addressed either by the FCC or by state AGs, since it can create serious bill shock situations. I'd like to see it be the law that they can't charge more than 5x the rate that they do in the US, so it would be $.05/MB or $50/GB for international, etc. It's a little harder with text, since it's unlimited, so it's really hard to figure out what the cost of a text actually is.

What is also interesting is that AT&T got rid of it's $65/mo unlimited international data plan, and now they have no caps on overages.

Overages, should in general, be capped at 150% of the base monthly rate. AOL did it back in the day, if you were on the hourly plan, they'd stop charging around the $37 mark, since it was 1.5x unlimited. The same should be true, by law, for the wireless providers, since they have not been honest in self-regulation in this area. So international data overages would be capped at $100, domestic voice minutes under $150, and domestic text overages at $30/line or $45/plan. The very idea that Verizon had the audacity to send someone a $10,000 bill for text overages is just insane and despicable.


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Did u ready my previous article? it states theory why international roaming is insanely expensive. One of the reasons being u don't know on whom you roamed when you come back, usually no choice to who roam on, no regulation at all between countries, and fact that they make more on cashing users mistakes than probably the plan you proposed. Will this ever change? I dunno. Voice domestic roaming changed in the US but it was within US boundaries and because people move and use mobile frequently outside home.

As for international roaming, its interesting that Canadians have little bit more generous roaming voice/text plans to the US, including unlimited texting than what we Americans have. We pay the same rate for texting whether we talk or travel to Canada, Mexico or Europe.

If you check rates for Wind mobile in Canada, they have unlimited US texting and calling for $10. They also have for $8 unlimited texting to the world.

Their US or global roaming rates for data are still insanely expensive though and even at worse deal than what at&t offers. For instance the best u can get with Wind is $0.5/Mb. Its same under at&t global add-on $25 for 50Mb. When you go higher it drops to 0.25/Mb.

Its interesting international authorities (especially US) have more time to bust petty criminals on marijuana on which no one ever dies from overdose. But they totally overlook $100,000 bills travel citizens when returning to the U.S.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Yes, I read it. The customer shouldn't have to control what roaming partner they are on. It should all be handled by the carrier, but not at stratospheric rates.

The thing is, once people realize how expensive they are, they won't use them. That's not good for carrier revenue. If they offered reasonable rates, or a plan that was more money for home rate use abroad, that would be a legitimate, sustainable revenue stream.

All it takes is one company to break the status quo. Maybe a company like T-Mobile will want to do it to differentiate themselves from Verizon and AT&T, and that will break the logjam. My suspicion is that it will come with a plan that's $10-$20/mo more than the regular plan with a 2-year contract, but either have very low international rates or international extended home type of service. It would be a great way to boost ARPU, and very low risk/cost if the roaming agreements are set up the right way.

We can get a Canada plan on AT&T that covers voice and text, but it doesn't cover data. Canada should just be regular roaming, the US and Canada are even on the same phone system.

Interestingly enough, Sprint MVNO Ting is $.15/min and $.50/MB when in Canada, which while still outrageous, is at least out of the stratosphere. I don't know if they are operating through a Sprint roaming agreement, or if they have their own. It's a little difference, since they are CDMA, and run on CDMA up there. Texting is also free in Canada for them, so that would be a way to avoid costs.

Technically speaking, there is no reason why there should even be the concept of international roaming. Certain places, like Barrow, AK, or islands in the pacific that have no land-based connectivity would just have an extra charge on them. Everything should be one, flat rate to call or text anywhere. Why is it that I can pull gigabytes of data from Australia for free, yet AT&T can't manage to do free roaming in Europe?

Don't even get me going on Cruise ships, they are insane too. At least in that environment, you don't really need data, so you can just put the phone in airplane mode, use your GMRS radios, and be all set.