When it comes to staying connected abroad, it can be an expensive proposition. It really starts making you question how badly you need to upload the photo to Instagram of the lunch in front of you right now! 🙂 Of course, it is always nice to stay connected with family back home and sometimes it is essential to stay connected for business reasons. Throw in mapping apps or other tools and the international roaming is viewed as a necessity. For more information about global communications, check out this guide post.
The problem is that it is not cheap. There are other services that can compete with each other for global use, but it is still expensive (especially data) and not practical for actual daily use while abroad. Then you have services like Cell Buddy which are trying to reinvent the global cell phone market plan. However, I still have not gotten my beta SIM from them so maybe it is going to be a little while longer. 🙂
The International Phone Plan – Truphone World
With all of that being said, here comes another entry into the telecommunications space and it looks pretty good to me! It is called Truphone and they are starting to roll out their new Truphone World plan that will give you a dedicated plan price that will be active in 66 countries (and growing) while giving you local numbers – and the prices are not outrageous. They have other zone pricing as well that can be found here.
The 66 countries are:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- Europe, and more
They have a monthly international phone plan lineup which might cause the US cell customer to have some shock, but considering it is for international use, it is not bad. The cheapest starts at $55 per month and gives 300 minutes, 300 SMS, and 300MB of data in all of those 66 countries. While the data part seems low, just remember that free WiFi, especially around Europe, is quite common so you will not need to rely on a data plan as you do at home (I used to do around 2-3GB per month in the US but now make do with less than 500MB unless I am tethering). Of course, if you have to go higher, they have higher plans as well as shared plans and data only plans.
The bad news is that the plans all require a minimum of 12 month contract. So, this will not be something that the infrequent traveler will want. Another aspect is that this could be a good plan for the user who does not use that much in the way of minutes or data in the US and does travel on occasion. In that case, this could be the main contract for that user.
Another possibility is to buy the data only package. This would work great if you use a service like Google Voice or Skype or some other cloud-based service. The data prices are not that bad and could work out well for the traveler who just needs data.
It is always nice to see some innovation on this front. I really hope this service becomes available soon and that it works as well as it should.
What do you think about this plan and company?