AT&T has once again revamped their calling, texting and Wi-Fi access plans for customers traveling outside of the United States. According to a company press statement, AT&T's new Travel Minutes packages allows customers to save money in over 200 countries, providing a "tremendous value over pay-per-use rates." The move comes after both AT&T and Verizon revamped their international data packages last June. These new packages differ based on whether you're visiting other parts of North America, portions of Europe, or headed elsewhere, and break down as such:
Canada and Mexico Travel Minutes, which covers voice calls made and received while traveling in Canada and Mexico, includes:
•80 minutes of talk time for $30/month ($0.38 per minute effective rate) •200 minutes of talk time for $60/month ($0.30 per minute effective rate) •500 minutes of talk time for $120/month ($0.24 per minute effective rate) Overage rate is $.50/min.
Europe Travel Minutes, which covers voice calls made and received while traveling in more than 40 European countries, includes:
•30 minutes of talk time for $30/month ($1.00 per minute effective rate) •80 minutes of talk time for $60/month ($0.75 per minute effective rate) •200 minutes of talk time for $120/month ($0.60 per minute effective rate) Overage rate is $1.00/min.
Rest of World Travel Minutes, which covers voice calls made and received in most of the countries not covered by the other two packages, includes:
•15 minutes of talk time for $30/month ($2.00 per minute effective rate) •40 minutes of talk time for $60/month ($1.50 per minute effective rate) •100 minutes of talk time for $120/month ($1.20 per minute effective rate) Overage rate is $2.00/min.
If your phone is unlocked, I thin you can buy a SIM card for the particular country in which you are travelling and get a much better deal, right? Perhaps the average consumer doesn't feel comfortable swapping SIM cards?
I find the overage fees to be harsh. Usually a plan provides a break on excess minutes but that doesn't seem to be the case. Perhaps these plans can be added and removed on a month-to-month basis and there's no incentive to provide a break once the plans cap is exhausted.
Can't swap sims if the phone is locked. To get an unlocked phone you have to pay a premium price. An unlocked iPhone 5 is $700. An unlocked Galaxy S3 is $550. Most people would rather just pay $200 and get a locked phone. AT&T won't unlock an iPhone until it is out of contract.
I did say "unlocked phones". However, at AT&T's prices, it won't take international travellers long to pay for an unlocked version. Many of my office associates are Indian and visit once a year for several weeks. One of them even paid full price for an iPhone 5 so they could swap SIM cards.
I thought there were programs that would unlock your phone. I know that's a touchy subject considering the DMCA but I thought in the past couple years (due to be reviewed soon), the Copyright Office allowed exceptions for unlocking phones. Is there a caveat that this is only permitted outside of a term contract?
2012-Nov-20 9:32 am: ·
fuziwuzi Not born yesterday Premium join:2005-07-01 Atlanta, GA
I got a real phone, not a toy, on T-Mobile and they unlocked it 3 days after I bought it. I've taken it to China, Japan, and Europe and have enjoyed using cheaply purchased SIMs and get great calls/text and high-speed data while there without being butt-raped by "roaming" charges. Even with my T-Mobile SIM, I can just turn off mobile data and use WiFi Calling when I'm connected to WiFi and make/receive calls back home for free. Only thing I don't get is the ooo's and ahhh's from schoolgirls who think an Apple on the back of a phone is the highest form of fashion. -- Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1
Can't swap sims if the phone is locked. To get an unlocked iphone you have to pay a premium price. An unlocked iPhone 5 is $700.
Fixed it for you. Since these plans only refer to voice/txt (not data), an iPhone 5 or Android phone has the possibility of being a data nightmare out of county. You can typically pick up an unlocked GSM phone for $100.
My contract is up on Wednesday so I'm switching on Thursday (Thanksgiving). Party!!! Never again will I have a contract. Very unlikely that I will go back to AT&T unless they improve their pricing. If you're someone that likes lighting stacks of money on fire then AT&T is for you!
Most people don't know that outside the US (well even in the US) towers can be owned by individuals, and guess what they forward the metering amounts to the billing department.
A few times when I traveled to Mexico I made one call for 1-2 minutes, to later be billed for 20 minutes and 500 MB of data (and yes I know what I am doing). $500 bill. Good thing I wasn't paying because Verizon was like go f**k yourself we have the data. Yet another reason to never have a contract plan (unless someone else is paying)
This practice is also prevalent in many other countries, so my take on this is buy a local prepaid SIM card and protect yourself from predatory local carriers and predatory AT&T pricing.
The european rates are sky high. ONLY if you are dialing a mobile in Europe is it expensive (say 17-20p). If I dial to the US we are talking about 3p (maybe 4c) At T $1 a minute they are raking it in, and you have to sign up for a PLAN? WTF are they smoking. I guess they are just taking advantage of corporate folks on this one.
My current bill is about $200/mo w/ big red. 1200 minutes, 5GB Canada Plan (that means I can roam data/voice in Canada). No texting included, but that is what GV is for. Talk about profit...
Why would I have to sign up for a plan to get bent over for rates 30x higher than if you looked for 2 minutes you could get?
If you read the press event, you should see their texting fees (which are free if you know what you are doing) and data -- don't even try it.
So AT&T revamp again, and maybe you will be in 1985 prices soon.
I realize domestic carriers get abused on foreign networks, but rates/overages like these is just begging people to find alternatives. And there are plenty- use wifi for google voice/skype/voip, sim swap, or simply buy a prepaid burner phone if the other options won't work for you.
As an example, prepaymania.co.uk offers prepaid phones for as little as £1.00........
Yippz Premium join:2005-05-04 Fort Walton Beach, FL
Wow -- $2 a minute in ''other than listed countries?!?''
Seasoned travelers have known about the exorbitant travel rates for years, and these new deals do nothing more than make it convenient to keep your US phone working overseas.
It's amazing how many customers buy something as simple as an MX-12 (2 SIM) or MX-29TV (4 SIM) and use it strictly for travel. An inexpensive device with all the bells and whistles, can be used in over 200 countries and you grab a disposable SIM card at the airport no matter which country you're in.
GCI in Alaska offers included roaming voice in Canada and Mexico with their nationwide plan. Roaming data is included with a data plan in these countries as well, and 3G roaming in much of Canada. Why can't AT&T do the same?
When AT&T was known as Cingular in NYC, i had the pleasure of not having such an umbrella plan to cover my voice minutes while I was overseas. On top of that, when I roamed in India, I paid a measly 60 cents per minute on the local Vodafone (which was known as Hutch) at that time.
It just boggles me how anything release by AT&T is a "deal" these days. More like a money-grab.
My two cents is to just swap out for a local sim card.
Does this mean that I can change my current domestic plan? maybe I can take the international plan to save money. With rollover I should be able to save something, or build something with all those unused minutes.
so for those of us who cross border for only a few days
while getting local sim is best option, what about those who want to keep us phone working and not forward calls (since how would you forward texts?)
I wonder if you add canadian 30min plan for $30 for only 3 days, does that mean you get 8 minutes to talk for $3 with overage of $.50 per minute if you drop too soon or too short of used minutes? Seems to be a little better deal than old $4 plan with $0.59 per minute