Truphone creates a shared data plan that will cross international borders

Truphone has always had a soft spot for the international business traveler. When it became a virtual mobile carrier in 2010, its core service was a plan that charged you local rates for voice, SMS and data on either side of the Atlantic – a boon to any globetrotter accustomed to paying exorbitant roaming fees outside his home country. Now Truphone is extending more love to border-crossing businessmen and women – or at least to the companies that pay their phone bills.

On Tuesday Truphone is unveiling its first shared plans for business. Companies can now buy big batches of minutes, texts and megabytes and pool them across not just multiple devices, but also multiple nations. For instance a $500 plan includes 5000 voice minutes, 5000 text messages and 1 GB of 3G data, all of which can be used anywhere in the U.S., U.K. Netherlands, Australia and Hong Kong. Germany, Poland and Spain will join that list later this year.

Those prices will definitely seem high to most of us since we’re accustomed paying only for the for the domestic-only voice and data buckets offered by our local carriers. But if you’re splitting your time between countries in the Truphone “Zone” those rates look like a bargain. Anyone who has ever opened their mobile browser overseas can attest to international data roaming rates being practically criminal — $20 a megabyte isn’t uncommon.