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Traveling abroad? T-Mobile's new unlimited plan beats AT&T, Verizon

T-Mobile announced its customers now get unlimited data and texting when they travel abroad.

The Seattle carrier will also let users make calls while abroad for $0.20 per minute. And all of this is bundled into the company's base Simple Choice plan, which costs $50 per month.

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How does T-Mobile's new plan stack up against rivals AT&T, Verizon and Sprint? Here's what we've found.

AT&T

If you're traveling with AT&T, you'll have to pay extra on top of your service plan to get texting, data and voice.

For texting, users can pay $10 for 50 messages per month, $30 for 200 or $60 for 600 minutes.

Data starts at $30 for 120 MB per month, then $60 for 300 MB and finally $120 for 800 MB.

Voice plans depend on where you're traveling, but most start at $30. If you go to Mexico or Canada, you can get about 80 minutes ($0.38 per minute) for that much; traveling in Europe will get you 30 minutes ($1 per minute). More expensive plans with more minutes are also available, but none are less than T-Mobile's $0.20 per minute.

Verizon

Verizon's international plans are trickier to navigate since the rates differ depending on the country you are traveling to.

Let's start with the simple part. Customers can pay $25 per month for 100 MB of international data use. Text messages are $0.50 across the board. Messages received are $0.05.

Voice calls is where it gets complicated. Users can pay $4.99 per month to receive discounted rates per minute, but they vary depending on the country. In a country such as England, the $4.99 plan would get rates down to $0.99 per minute.

Sprint

With Sprint, the process also heavily depends on where you are traveling.

Users who travel to Canada or Mexico can get 55 MB of data for $30 per month, 175 MB for $75 or 325 MB for $125. For a few other countries, customers can pay $40 for 40 MB or $80 for 85 MB.

For voice calls, customers can pay $2.99 to receive a rate of $0.20 per minute if they travel to Canada. They can also pay $4.99 to receive discounted rates per minute for calls made in other countries.

Text messages are each $0.50 for those sent and $0.05 for messages received.

Overall

T-Mobile is the clear winner, especially if you like simplicity and saving money. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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