New AT&T international data packages

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#1
Boynton Beach, FL USA
12,968 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I was setting up my international data package for my iPhone for an upcoming river cruise and found out that the packages just changed today. They are much more reasonable. The rates are:

50 mg - $24.99
125 mg - $49.99
275 mg - $99.99
800 mg - $199.99

For comparison purposes, 50 mg used to be $59.99, so this is a great improvement. I thought those of you headed to Europe might be able to take advantage of it.
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#2
Melbourne, FL
848 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Still ridiculous when you think about how much it costs them to provide the service.

But thanks for sharing the information!!
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#3
Calabasas, CA, USA
11,635 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by MVPinBoynton
I was setting up my international data package for my iPhone for an upcoming river cruise and found out that the packages just changed today. They are much more reasonable. The rates are:

50 mg - $24.99
125 mg - $49.99
275 mg - $99.99
800 mg - $199.99

For comparison purposes, 50 mg used to be $59.99, so this is a great improvement. I thought those of you headed to Europe might be able to take advantage of it.
Mike,
Strange coincidence here...I just spent a good chunk of the morning calling AT&T regarding using my cell phone for my Europe cruise that I'm flying off to Friday...

The first rep I spoke to was clueless and was quoting me that $59.99 50 mb rate...

After a half an hour of futility, I called back directly to their "International" department (1-800-335-4685) and got a much better informed and more competent rep named "Ed"...

By the time I was done, I added a 125 mb package for $9.99 as well as an international calling discount for $5.99/mo. The international calling thing changes the per minute rate in the UK, France, Spain and Italy from $1.39 per minute to $.99 and in Portugal from $1.99 to $1.69...I figure it pays for itself in 15 minutes of phone calls, though I likely won't use the phone that much...

Based on my normal average data usage, 125 mb should be just about right...

And, another thing to note is that these rates are PRORATED...So, we have them started on August 6, when we arrive in the UK and turned off on August 28 when we return home and we are only charged for 74.2% of these amounts!

Still there's a note to use the data while in port...because if you access it on the ship, you may end up paying the ship's WiFi charge as well...

Another caveat is to check carefully the countries in which the plan applies. Last year, no one warned us that our data plan didn't count in Finland...and we got a huge extra bill from usage there that I had to fight with AT&T to remove...
This year, we found out that we are okay with this plan in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy...but NOT for our stop in Morocco...

When not using the phone (especially in Morocco), it is important to disable the roaming feature so that the phone doesn't create its own unwanted usage.

Then...When I got my confirming e-mail from AT&T, it says:

Feature Name: 125mb International Data Plan
Effective Date: 8/6/2011
Monthly Recurring Charge: $24.99
Included: 125mb
Overage Rate: $10/10mb


Looks like he made a mistake in writing down the rate...
This could get interesting...
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#4
Boynton Beach, FL USA
12,968 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Steve,
When I called this morning, they also gave me the old rate. Since I had checked it out on line earlier, I knew the rate had changed.

I knew about checking on the different countries, since a coworker is heading to Russia tomorrow and the plan is not applicable there. It costs $20 per megabyte there.

I will reset my data usage meter, so that I make sure I don't cut the plan off too early. If I were to use 100 mg in 2 weeks, I will need to keep the plan on for most of the billing cycle or I could get overcharges.

Have a great cruise.
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#5
Chicago area
14,081 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Bruin Steve
....And, another thing to note is that these rates are PRORATED...So, we have them started on August 6, when we arrive in the UK and turned off on August 28 when we return home and we are only charged for 74.2% of these amounts!

Still there's a note to use the data while in port...because if you access it on the ship, you may end up paying the ship's WiFi charge as well......
Be very careful about the pro-rations. While you'll only pay 74.2% of the amounts you will also only receive 74.2% of the 125MB. So if you use the entire 125MB and then cancel as planned, 25.8% of your usage will be billed at the extremely expensive non-package rates. As you can see it gets a bit tricky figuring out what start and end date works best with the pro-rations - this is especially so if you're working on a time period that runs between two different billing cycles.

Also - on the ship you can not accidentally incur the ship's wifi charges. You have to specifically log into the ship's wifi system to use it. BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, if you do any cellular data roaming on the ship it will be charged at the extremely expensive non-package rates as the international data roaming packages only apply for use on land, and not on the ship (unless this just changed as well. What you have to do is turn off data roaming (not hard to do) whenever you are on the ship. In fact it is best to only turn it on when you definitely need it on land and then immediately turn it off again. And pay attention to how much data you're using (there are meters you can read on the phone) to make sure you don't go over your plan limits.

I hope this helps and isn't' more confusing.
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#6
Chicago area
14,081 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by kat228
Still ridiculous when you think about how much it costs them to provide the service.

But thanks for sharing the information!!
do you know what it costs to provide the service?

I don't, and if you do I'd like to know what it is.
I can imagine there is all the towers, computers, relays, satellites, etc. Sure they have negligible cost of one moreincremental MB of data, but someone has to pay all the fixed costs for the infrastructure. Also, when you are dealing with international service ATT doesn't even own the systems nor does it provide the service. ATT gets charged by the company that owns the system you'll be roaming on and they has to mark up those charges and pass them on to you.
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#7
Maryland
578 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
My last trip I did this but decided it wasn't worth doing this time.

This post is making me re-think this.

I also need to see whether I can combine these lower data plan rates and make my iPhone a personal hotspot for my iPad.
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#8
48 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Lsimon
do you know what it costs to provide the service?

I don't, and if you do I'd like to know what it is.
I know that a local SIM in the Netherlands with 1GB (1000MB) of data cost a total of $15 euros last month. The second GB (needed because tethering my PC to my phone used up the first GB pretty quickly due to backing up photos) cost another $15 euros.

That is much, much cheaper than it would be for the quoted plan ($25 for the first 125MB, than $10 for each 10MB would come to about $900 for 1GB).

Sure, roaming agreements should result in some markup, but 4500% is ridiculous!