AT&T announced Tuesday it's expanding its iPhone international data plans, in a move designed to cut consumers' reliance on pay-per-use data services. Under the expansion, which is slated to begin Wednesday, iPhone users can add one of two international plans to their existing service.
The 100MB iPhone plan will cost an additional monthly fee of $119.99, while the 200MB plan will run an additional $199.99 a month. Both plans can be added or dropped from users' existing plans at any time, without penalty.
On a pay-per-use data basis, users could pay as much as 0.0195 cents per kilobyte, which translates into nearly $40 for 2MB of data, according to AT&T. "AT&T has worked diligently to provide affordable options for international roaming because the feature-rich mobile experience of iPhone is indispensable to users," Bill Hague, AT&T wireless operations international executive vice president, said in a statement. "With these new international data plans, iPhone users can access more data in more countries for less cost."
Although AT&T's two expanded data plans offer the discounted data roaming package in 67 countries, such as China, India, Israel, and the United Kingdom, the rate outside of these areas is higher.
A 1 cent per KB rate is charged for areas outside the 67 countries, but a higher rate of nearly 2 cents, or 0.0195, per KB applies in 20 countries such as Bolivia, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia,Turkey, and Venezuela.
AT&T also advises iPhone users to save data costs by taking several steps, such as using Wi-Fi whenever possible, turning off automatic e-mail checks, and keeping data roaming in the preset off position.
[Posted by Dawn Kawamoto to our sister site, News.com]