International travel with a smartphone along for the ride has historically always been a bit of a dicey proposition, with spotty coverage, gaps, and high roaming charges being the norm for most globetrotting smartphone owners. While carriers are largely beginning to take the hint and work on serving their travelling customers a little bit better, it's safe to say that there is still not one single consumer-facing carrier within the US that a customer may be able to comfortably use no matter where they are in the world. One of the carriers that is working toward this goal is AT&T, who recently announced a brand new roaming plan for Cuba.
Coverage for AT&T customers who are taking their devices to Cuba with them tends to be fairly dependable. The network usage costs for AT&T at that range, however, are nothing to sneeze at. AT&T has to pay for the use of cellular equipment, spectrum lease licensing, and a number of other factors that can quickly send the price for operating a network skyrocketing. Naturally, this means that the cost has to be passed on to customers in order for AT&T to not have to endure losses with each customer using the network abroad. In the case of Cuba, using this new plan will cost travelers a pretty penny indeed, but maintaining your domestic number and using the same device that you use at home may make it worthwhile for some travelers.
Voice calls over the local 2G network will run $3 per minute for AT&T customers, while SMS text messages will be a staggering $0.50 per message, with MMS messages' pictures, videos, and other media will push the cost per message up to $1.30 per message. Finally, data coverage will cost you a fairly painful $2.05 per megabyte. Considering that a high-resolution image on a webpage can exceed 5 megabytes and a simple page can creep well into the megabyte-plus territory if not properly optimized, these prices for data will hit customers pretty hard in the wallet. The new roaming plan is exclusive of any packages or other features, and are already live for any and all AT&T customers heading to Cuba.