If you've ever traveled out of the US and into another country, and did not grab a local SIM. Chances are you know how insane the international data plans are for the US carriers. With them charging around $2 per megabit. Although, for a while T-Mobile had the best plan, giving you unlimited EDGE speeds for free, and offering 100MB of high-speed data for $10, or 250MB for $25 and 500MB for $50. Sprint also added unlimited international data recently, and even Project Fi allows you to use your data in other countries like you would at home. 4G LTE speeds, priced at $10 per GB. Now Verizon has revamped their international data plans, and actually, they aren't too bad.
Basically what Verizon is doing here, is allowing you to pay extra to use your existing data bucket outside the US. Now at first glance that sounds confusing right? But they are a bit cheaper for short stays abroad, however, if you are staying for a week or so, you may want to check out some of their other international plans. Essentially, if you're traveling to Mexico or Canada, you'll be paying $2 per day to access your usual data bucket. So if you're in Mexico for 4 days, that's only $8 tacked onto your bill for that month. That's much cheaper than some of these other international plans. And if you're heading to countries in Europe or heading to Australia, that's going to be $10 per day. In Asia, this only works in Taiwan and Singapore, unfortunately. You can see the complete list of countries on Verizon's blog post, listed in the source links below.
On the outside, this appears to be Verizon's answer to T-Mobile's recent change allowing their customers to use their existing minutes, texts and data in Canada and Mexico. As well as AT&T allowing people to make voice calls and send texts to Mexico. So far, AT&T hasn't allowed customers to use their data buckets in Mexico, but that's likely coming soon, as they did buy a couple of carriers in Mexico not too long ago.
International data plans used to be such a headache, and to an extent they still are. However, prices are coming down. And for those that travel internationally frequently, this is definitely a good thing, and something we hope to see continue.