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AT&T's international data plans are now a little more reasonable

You'll still have to be frugal, though.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 12, 2017
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AT&T's international data roaming packs just became slightly more practical... slightly. The carrier has updated its Passport packages to give you 1GB of data and unlimited texting in a one-time $60 purchase, and 3GB for $120. That's a lot more headroom than before (these prices previously got you a miserly 300MB and 800MB respectively), and might make the difference between Instagramming your trip as it happens versus waiting until you return to your hotel. They can certainly be more affordable than an International Day Pass if you're staying for a couple of weeks.

With that in mind, you're still going to have to ration data compared to how you use it back at home. Also, be sure not to run over -- It costs $50 for each extra gigabyte you need. Calls to any country cost 35 cents per minute.

How does it compare to other carriers? It depends on what you need. Verizon isn't exactly generous with monthly international data: you're only paying $25 per month outside of North America, but that gets you just 100MB with overages of $25 for every additional 100MB block. You're better off paying for a day pass, then. T-Mobile offers unlimited free data out of the gate, but only at 128Kbps; you'll need a One Plus plan to move to a still-paltry 256Kbps, and LTE speeds are only available in Canada and Mexico. Sprint also takes the free-but-slow approach outside of North America unless you pay for a pass, although you can spring for weekly passes (usually $25 per week) that represent better bargains.

In short, AT&T's newer Passport packs make the most sense if you have an extended stay, want fast data and want to keep your own phone number. Otherwise, you may want to opt for day passes, another carrier or (if you have an unlocked phone) a service that offers local data where you're traveling.

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