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AT&T whips up international iPhone data plan, also adding iTunes radio?

Ryan Block, @ryan
11.02.07
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We're not sure what took 'em so long -- reports of unhappy customers who traveled abroad with their surreptitiously email-checking iPhones returning home to bills totaling in the thousands of dollars -- have been de rigueur for AT&T since June's launch. Well, today that changes. Despite Apple's addition of an anti-data-roaming option in later firmware updates, the service side now has a new Data Global Plan, which, for $25 or $60 (extra) per month, gives iPhone users 20MB or 50MB of international data access -- but nothing more on the voice side -- in some 29 countries (including our neighbor to the north, and parts of Europe and Asia). Take that SIM unlockers who would rather just buy an overseas SIM and pay something reasonable for their data rates.

Update: AT&T's site also shows an interesting and possibly telling quote: "While using data on iPhone is free within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, International data roaming can get expensive quickly. Consider that just 20 minutes of iTunes radio takes 20MB of data. That's why AT&T has created two iPhone International packages with more reasonable rates in 29 countries." (Emphasis ours.) So, iTunes radio, eh? Certainly AT&T isn't talking about downloading tracks over the iTunes WiFi store -- that's only possible via WiFi. Maybe we have something here. Thanks, Ryan.

Update 2: Bonus -- we have confirmation from AT&T that it's not contractual, meaning you can sign up for the Data Global Plan before you hit up a trip and then drop it when you return. We don't have pro-rating details, but we're sure you'll work it out.

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