You pay for convenience, they say, and there's nothing more convenient in the smartphone world than being able to step off a plane in a foreign country and your phone just works. No swapping SIM cards, no mucking about with APN settings. Today, AT&T announced a new set of international roaming plans that go into effect on June 1. They are as follows:

  • 120 MB of data for $30 a month
  • 300 MB of data for $60 a month
  • 800 MB of data for $120 a month

And if you go over your allotment, it'll cost you another $30 for another 120 MB of data. 

By comparison, AT&T currently (for the next 24 hours anyway) has a 125 MB plan for $49.99, a 275 MB plan for $99, and an 800 MB plan for $199. The 50 MB, $24.99 plan is about to be dropped, but that's not really something you should have been considering anyway, given how data-hungry phones are these days.

Source: AT&T


Reader comments

AT&T switches up international roaming plans


Dear AT&T,

No thank you. I'll stick to buying a SIM in country. Just paid £5 for a GB in the UK. That's less than half what I pay for a GB here - and theirs worked a hell of a lot better too!

--Disgruntled customer

Yeah, I don't see how paying 20x what it would cost you to simply swap out your SIM card is a good idea.

There are probably more people who can't or won't be bothered to figure out how to swap cards and change APNs than people who will.

A number of people aren't even in a country long enough to mess around with SIMs and let everyone know the new number.

Another set still won't be on their phones because they're on sense purchasing another SIM at all.

There are soooooo many people who will "benefit" from this despite it being a buttrape.

You forgot that many AT&T phones are sim locked, meaning you can't just swap in another sim at will. If traveling on business, the company is paying for it anyway. I'd buy the in-country sim, but I'm running an unlock phone. That's not common in the US.

But these new rates are still ridiculous because travelers need. More data than they would at home, not less, due to no wifi availability much of the time.

It seems like people just LOVE hating on AT&T for any reason whatsoever
They do something good and LOWER their international roaming fees and people cry o_O?

If you've no need for international roaming plans then this effect you.
If you do need/have one, I'm sure you'd be happy if your plans have been adjusted to save you money....

Some people.... whine, whine, whine.

You get a better deal by swapping SIM cards. I don't know anyone who uses so little data anywhere. If you are overseas, chances are you will depend on navigation apps, quickly uploading a few photos and data calling. Those plans aren't beneficial for frequent travelers or anyone in today's high-tech world.

Very few people travel outside the USA and proceed to use the crap out of their phone. Most people use it less. Most travel is for to get away from the phone, computer, etc.

I've been out of the country more than once and I didn't use my phone at all...and I'm a pretty heavy data user on these things.

It's a different behavior pattern when you're an American going abroad as opposed to, say, a German hopping over to France and back then going to Italy on a semi regular basis. Remember that the USA is about the size of all Europe. Europeans jump countries while we Americans jump states.

I think it is a good thing that they lowered their price. I have traveled to China a few times and I don't speak Chinese. It is not worth it to me to try to find a sim card. I like the fact that my phone just works there. I also have been an AT&T customer for some years now. I like their service and I find it works fairly well. I also use less than 200mb a month for data. I do 6 to 8 gb a month on wifi as well so living on a small plan works for me. I did not think so at first but I searched and found many others doing the same thing. So these data hungry phones can work just fine on these plans.