AT&T fights messaging apps with unlimited free international text plan

Free AT&T International SMS MMS

After announcing LTE roaming agreements for various international markets on Monday, AT&T on Tuesday revealed that it will soon offer free international text messaging to its customers, including support for video messaging, in a move that should help it counter mobile apps that offer almost free chatting features.

Starting on February 28th, AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will include unlimited international messaging including SMS and MMS, but the offer will not support messaging apps that require a data connection to send messages, and which, if used abroad, will cause additional roaming data charges. Free picture and video messaging will be supported only for 120 countries, with free texting available to 190 countries in total.

Furthermore, the messages must originate from a user’s phone number and must be sent between phones, with tablet and laptops not included in the offer. In its press release, AT&T also says that “service may be terminated or restricted for tethered messaging, excessive international messaging or misuses.”

In addition to free messaging, the carrier will also introduce a new “penny-per-minute” international calling rate to any number anytime, for 35 countries including Canada and Mexico. The plan will cost interested users an extra $5 on top of their current postpaid monthly contract.

The full press release follows below.

AT&T Delivers More Value to Mobile Share Customers with Unlimited Messaging to the World

AT&T Also Introduces New International Calling Rates from the U.S. for as Low as 1 Cent Per Minute
Dallas, Texas, February 25, 2014

AT&T* today announced two of its best-ever offers for international messaging and direct dial calling from the U.S., delivering more value to customers who want to connect with family, friends and coworkers living abroad.

On Friday, February 28, all AT&T Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans will now include unlimited international messaging from the U.S. to the world.** AT&T consumer and business Mobile Share customers can send unlimited text, picture and video messages. Current Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value customers will automatically benefit from this offer.

AT&T is also excited to introduce international calling from the U.S. to any number anytime to over 35 countries, including Canada and Mexico, for 1¢ per minute with our new international calling package, World Connect ValueSM.***

The “penny-per-minute” calling rates also apply to calls made to any number in the majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Venezuela.

“Two weeks ago, we introduced our best-ever value plans for families and small businesses, and now we’re delivering some of our best offers for international,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “When you combine these phenomenal new offers, our leading device portfolio available at $0 down with AT&T Next, the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network****, and our award winning customer service — there is no comparison — our customers get incredible value.”

World Connect Value will be available to all AT&T wireless postpaid customers, including those who have Wireless Home Phone service, for $5 a month as of Friday, February 28. The package offers low rate calling from the U.S. to over 225 countries. At launch, complete details will be available at att.com/worldconnect.

Review all our international calling plans at att.com/global.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

**Unlimited Messaging: Includes unlimited domestic and international text, picture, and video messages, received or sent from the US, Puerto Rico and the USVI. Unlimited messaging applies only to AT&T’s Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and not to any other messaging services or applications. Using such other messaging services or applications will incur cellular data charges, unless used over Wi-Fi. Messages are for direct communication between mobile phones and must originate from your mobile phone number. Messages sent to tablets, laptops, or other connected devices are excluded. Service may be terminated or restricted for tethered messaging, excessive international messaging or misuse. International Messaging: includes unlimited international messaging to more than 190 countries for text messages and 120 countries for picture & video messages. Messaging capabilities vary by country. AT&T may change countries at its discretion. Visit att.com/text2world for details.

***AT&T World Connect Value℠ Package: Rates are subject to change at any time. $0.01/minute rate applies to calls to wireless and wireline numbers made to the selected countries identified at att.com/worldconnect. AT&T reserves the right to terminate your AT&T World Connect Value Package for excessive usage, and then current international long distance pay-per-use rates will apply to calls you make to those countries. Calls to special services, such as Premium Rated Services, may cost more. Other restrictions and limitations apply.

****Based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE not available everywhere.

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