Verizon on Thursday unveiled a new international roaming solution that will allow its customers to use their existing talk, messaging and data plan when traveling abroad.
Dubbed TravelPass, the new program will allow subscribers to deduct their activity from their regular monthly plan for a fee of $2 per day in Mexico and Canada and $10 per day in more than 65 other locations, including destinations in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.
According to Verizon, the daily fee is activated only when a subscriber uses their device to take a call, connect to a data service or send a text while in one of the countries covered by TravelPass. Each daily session extends for 24 hours, during which time usage is covered by the fee. Another session will begin and another fee will be activated when a subscriber calls, texts or uses data after the 24-hour session has expired.
Verizon said customers can sign up for TravelPass online or on the MyVerizon app, and can leave the service turned on at no charge so the feature will be ready to go in case of unplanned travel.
The move follows an intense summer competition among carriers to provide international plan options for subscribers and comes in contrast to offers from other operators for free calls and texts to and from Canada and Mexico.
In July, T-Mobile became the first traditional carrier to offer free roaming, including data, between the United States, Canada and Mexico to all new and existing customers on Simple Choice plans at no additional cost. Sprint followed up the Un-carrier’s offer with its own “Open World SM” plan in August, which allows free calls and texts from Canada, Mexico and several Latin American countries, as well as 1 GB of free 3G data.
Following its acquisition of Mexican carrier Iusacell in January, AT&T announced that it would offer unlimited calling from the United States to Mexico to customers on its International calling plan, and in February began offering unlimited calling to Mexico on its $60 GoPhone prepaid plan.
Other prepaid brands have jumped into the fray, including Boost Mobile, which introduced in February a $5 per month add-on feature for its $45 and $55 Data Boost plans that added unlimited calls and messaging to Mexico and Canada, excluding the Northern territories.
In July, Cricket Wireless also began offering an international calling option with the introduction of its “roundtrip” feature. Available on the company’s Smart and Pro monthly plans, the feature allows unlimited calls and texts to and from Mexico and Canada at no additional charge. Last month, Cricket added free data roaming in Mexico and Canada as a complement to its international plan.