Verizon International Data Roaming

Verizon, along with their cohorts (specifically T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint) are getting into the international data roaming business big time. The main reason, you guessed it, is due to revenue. Carriers make a gigantic profit on roaming, particularly data roaming.

While Verizon quite possibly has one of the best plans (maybe a toss up between AT&T) for data roaming, it is expensive compared to other options and there are certainly some things that Verizon customers should take caution of.

If you have a smartphone and are traveling abroad, Verizon offers pay as you go bundles for data. Each bundle is $25, plus tax, for 100MB of data. While there are less expensive options, if you are already a customer of Verizon and do not want to deal with finding another option, this may work for you. However, and I cannot stress this enough, you need to stay on top of your credit. In fact, I got this directly off of Verizon’s website, “using data globally can be expensive.” If, for example, you purchase two bundles and hence get 200 MB of data yet you send a couple more emails than you anticipated and consume a total of 215MB of data, which for the mathematically challenged is a mere 15MB more than you prepaid for, that extra 15MB will cost you more than $300. Each megabyte of overage is over $20 plus tax.

Another problem, besides the cost, is the lack of flexibility with Verizon’s plan. Verizon allows you to add data to your current plan but what if you have, say a laptop or an iPad that you want service for?  With Verizon, you would have to have add another plan which means you would have to sign another 2 year or 3 year service agreement. This is obviously not a feasible solution for many travelers.

A better solution would be to purchase a pay as you go data SIM card. Pay as you go SIM cards are not associated with a contract and, you have the flexibility to put them in any device. Also, since the service is pay as you go, you will not unknowingly incur a roaming fees.

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About Sebastian Harrison

Founder and President of Cellular Abroad and travel writer.
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