AT&T's Cricket Wireless prepaid brand has added data roaming in Canada and Mexico to plans priced at $50 and higher. Data while roaming in those two countries is advertised as "unlimited" with high speed data available up to the plan limits of 5 GB on the $50 plan and 10 GB on the $60 plan. After the high speed limit is reached data speeds are throttled to 128 Hbps or less. High speed data on Cricket is limited to a maximum of 8 Mbps on LTE and 4 MBps on HSPA+.
Cricket has included unlimited voice and text roaming in Canada and Mexico on $50 and $60 plans since August. Of course, like most unlimited things in the mobile phone world, international roaming isn't really unlimited. Cricket says that the number of international minutes, texts or MBs of data used per month can not exceed 50% of total usage per month for three consecutive months or service may be terminated.
Cricket's $50 and $60 plans also include unlimited domestic calls and messaging, unlimited calls (including to mobile phones) and messaging (including MMS) to Mexico and Canada and unlimited international text messaging to 38 additional countries. Plan prices include all texts and fees and there's a $5/month discount for using auto pay as well as Group Save multi-line discounts ranging from $10 for two lines to $100 for five lines.
North American roaming appears to be the latest competitive weapon that the carriers are wielding in their battle for market share. In addition to Cricket, this year AT&T added Mexican and Canadian data roaming to its $60 GoPhone plan and T-Mobile added it to their $50 and $60 Prepaid Simple Choice plans. America Movil's TracFone, added Mexican (but not Canadian) data roaming to $35 and higher Simple Mobile plans and to Telcel America's $35 and higher monthly plans and $20 7 day plan.
Although I don't get to travel internationally nearly as much as I like, I'm thrilled that operators are starting to do away with their outrageous practice of charging tens or even hundreds of times as much for data and voice minutes as soon as you cross an international border.
Prepaid Operator Profile: Cricket Wireless
Updated: The Best Prepaid Mobile International Voice & Text Deals