The true cost of data roaming: Comparing the U.S. carriers

If you travel internationally, chances are you've been bitten by the cold, cruel fangs of international data roaming. Carriers make deals with other carriers to use each other's networks, and not matter what they work out, we end up paying for it. A lot. Phil Nickinson has done some digging into U.S. international data roaming rates,and this is what he's figured out. From Android Central:

If you just have to have roaming data, though — and there's nothing wrong with it so long as you're willing to pay up — it's important to do the math. Sprint and T-Mobile are significantly more expensive than AT&T and Verizon. Not that you'll likely have much of a choice when it comes to switching carriers just for overseas use, but comparisons are good.

Also, almost no carriers have LTE roaming agreements in place, so at best you'll be paying through the nose for slower speeds. If you're planning a trip, check out what the differences are, foreign and domestic, and remember - if you have an unlocked phone, you can usually save a ton by getting and using a PAYG SIM card when you land.

Source: Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

The true cost of data roaming: Comparing the U.S. carriers


No shout-out for verizonmath?

An old story, but a guy went roaming, and confirmed with Verizon beforehand that charges were 0.02 CENTS per minute. They charged him 0.02 DOLLARS per minute. Two reps and a manager could not understand the difference, even when painstakingly pointed out, so they guy recorded the calls.

The reverse is even a Canadian travelling to the US, Canadian carriers are just as bad with roaming charges if you don't get a special roaming plan. Even then, the rates are very expensive for the average consumer.
Luckily there are companies like Roam Mobility here in Canada that allow you to purchase a SIM card to insert into an unlocked phone and purchase a talk-text-data plan.
I recently travelled to the US for 2 weeks and purchased just such a plan. I unlocked my iPhone 5 and purchased a Nano SIM card. Once I was ready to travel, I purchased a talk-text-data package for under $50 CAD and had unlimited talk and text within North America, as well as 1.4gb of data. Companies like this are life savers!!

This is the reason I kept ATT unlimited international data plan for iphone, give me no worries when I travel aboard by using navi apps and listening local radio station!!!

Why is it the free trade is just free for the rich and corperatists? In this case as in way too many cases we the people always get the phalique end of the stick. Assume the position and pay up suckers.

AT&T and Verizon's rates are affordable, but my personal fav are the roaming sim cards that work all over the world, use them myself, have a travelsim for now and Im quite happy with the service it offers.