It has been a couple years since I traveled outside the US, but when I did I always took along a Truphone SIM card. Yesterday Truphone announced Truphone World, an international service offering for businesses that provides data and calling in 66 countries.
The Truphone World service has a core group of eight countries called the Truphone Zone. Every Truphone SIM comes with a US number and an international number. With the Truphone Zone you can get up to eight international numbers (six additional) on a single Truphone SIM card so that your customers in those countries can make local calls at local rates. The eight countries in the Truphone Zone are the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain.
With the increased demand for international data, Truphone is offering larger capacity bundles for individual and shared plans. I recently read international traveler survey results that 40 percent of US wireless customers turn off data roaming from the big three carriers to avoid costs that can total in the hundreds each day. With Truphone World, you buy an allotment at a reasonable price and have complete control over your international service while also keeping regular numbers that you can share as business numbers.
I am a T-Mobile US customer and my first thought was that I already get low-cost international coverage through T-Mobile. It is important to read the fine print on the T-Mobile site that states standard data speeds are 128 kbps and no tethering is permitted. You read that right, 128 kbps. That's back to EDGE (aka 2.5G) speeds. Truphone runs at 3G or faster speeds. I was able to enjoy 3G speeds and tether my Nokia phone to my iPad in the UK so will continue to use a Truphone SIM when I travel overseas.
They also state that "excessive" roaming could lead to restrictions or service terminations, but there is no definition of what that means. Businesses cannot afford to have their data restricted or service shut down so the Truphone World solution is definitely a service to consider.
You can buy local prepaid SIM cards when you travel to different countries, but then the number changes with each SIM; you have to make time to get one and set it up, and there are local and varying limits with each carrier.