AT&T and Verizon Wireless are two of the U.S.'s leading mobile phone service providers. Both companies offer international phone service that customers find suit their needs. If you are trying to decide which carrier to go with and you do a lot of international traveling, a comparison of their features and rate plans will help you decide which carrier is best for you.
AT&T International Plans
AT&T has developed a number of global partnerships with international mobile phone service providers that allows them to offer international wireless broadband plans to their American customers who frequently travel internationally countries and don't want to use international calling cards. AT&T offers a number of international calling and data packages which allow customers to choose whether they just want to roam if they travel outside the U.S. infrequently, talk in Canada or Mexico or talk or have a data plan for travel to Europe, Asia or the Middle East, for example. The latter is the most expensive of the options but may be useful for those who travel outside of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Verizon International Plans
Verizon does not offer international calling plans that customers can purchase for a monthly fee. Instead, Verizon charges fees on a per-minute basis depending on the country where the customer is making a phone call from. While many countries from Canada, Guam and Mexico to Israel, India and Japan are covered, rates range from 69 cents per minute to $2.89 per minute. Verizon does offer two international data plans: Broadband Access and Verizon Mobile Broadband. The plans range from $40 per month for 50 MB of usage to $60 per month for 5 GB of usage. Activation, start up and early termination fees also apply.
AT&T International Coverage
AT&T's strength is its international coverage. Customers who purchase an international data plan can use special cards which they connect to their laptops to access the Internet and can place calls and send text messages to and from a large list of countries including Albania, Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone and Zambia. AT&T's online travel guide helps customers know ahead of time what kind of coverage AT&T offers in all those countries and others and at what cost.
Verizon International Coverage
Verizon's international coverage is not as extensive as AT&T's. Verizon offers coverage in a total of about 50 countries, whereas AT&T offers coverage to more than 100 countries. If your travel takes you to a country covered by both AT&T and Verizon, you may find it beneficial to go with the carrier that offers you the best rate. However, Mobile Broadband Review recommends AT&T over Verizon for international data plans because AT&T's network is GSM-based which is commonly used in other countries resulting in more places with faster 3G speed.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images