One of the most frustrating experiences to deal with when planning a trip overseas is how to keep a smartphone working without paying hundreds of dollars in international roaming fees. AT&T today unveiled its new global add-on packages, which it claims will make traveling abroad more affordable. The new packages will debut on November 16.
The wireless carrier's new Travel Minutes packages will provide customers with a block of voice minutes in three different regions: Canada and Mexico, Europe, and the "rest of the world." Three different tiers priced at $30, $60, and $120 are available for each of these regions, though the amount of minutes granted in each is different. For Canada and Mexico, the tiers are 80, 200, and 500 minutes. For Europe and the rest of the world, they are 30, 80, and 200 minutes. Overage fees for Canada and Mecico are $.50 per minute, for Europe $1 per minute, and for the rest of the world $2 per minute.
The new messaging package AT&T will offer replaces the current 500-message package with a 600-message package for $60 per month (that's 10 cents per message). The messages can be either text, images, or video.
The global data packages for AT&T haven't changed, and are $30 per month for 120MB, $60 per month for 300MB, and $120 per month for 800MB. However, customers on the two more expensive plans will now have access to 1GB of Wi-Fi data through AT&T's international Wi-Fi hotspots.
As the prices listed above suggest, keeping connected while traveling abroad is still expensive, especially for longer trips. A full order of voice, text, and data for a month-long European vacation would cost $300 for only 200 minutes, 600 messages, and 800MB.