The new plans offer 100 MB of data for $120 a month and 200 MB for $200 a month. While still expensive, the latest offerings are hundreds of dollars less than pay-per-use international data roaming charges.
The latest offerings, which may be particularly attractive to business travelers, are available on an as-needed basis. There is no long-term commitment associated with the plans, AT&T said.
The new plans cover 67 countries. Rates outside those nations are either 1 cent per kilobyte or $.0195/KB. The latest data services are in addition to the 20 MB and 50MB plans AT&T offers in the same countries.
In pitching the new services, AT&T compared them with the cost of 2 MB of data use on a pay-per-use rate of $.0195/KB, which would amount to almost $40. IPhone owners tend to be heavy users of data services.
For example, the iPhone is the leading mobile device in the U.S. for accessing maps over the Web, according to comScore. This can be attributed to the integrated Google Maps application.
AT&T has reported strong sales of the iPhone 3G, the latest version of the smartphone released in July. While the carrier has been heavily subsidizing the iPhone, the company reported in July that figures indicate that data revenue, already surging, should pay big dividends in the future.
Smartphone use in general is growing at a faster clip than other mobile phone categories. In the second quarter, the growth rate for the advanced handsets reached nearly 40% year-over-year, while the rest of the industry is growing at roughly 10%, according to market researcher IDC.