I haven’t had enough time during these days to give the deserved visibility to this great new service by my friend irish blogger Pat Phelan, hence I apologize.
Not only to Pat, but to my readers, since I do believe it’s something that can really change the overall landscape of mobile communications so it deserves the right space in this blog as well.
1) the most used device by business people is their mobile phone
2) people who travel a lot spend “gazillions” due to high roaming charges
3) most people don’t want to change their habits
All this said, there is space to try to solve this problem, to “fill the gap”. Pat’s challenge is to solve this problem. How to do this ? Here is, briefly, the main points of their solution, presented a few days ago at TechCrunch2040 conference.
1) get a SIM card from MaxRoam, Cubic Telecom’s service
2) register your SIM and choose a phone number (free), picking it among landline numbers from USA, Ireland, France and UK. This will become your primary number.
3) when you travel, you can register another number if you want to be available in that country at the cost of a local call. Other numbers cost €2/month (very, very cheap). In a nutshell, wherever you are, they find you.
4) when you make phone calls, their rates are applied (to be disclosed soon) and your primary number is shown as the CLI
5) Incoming calls will not be free, but under 50% of standard roaming charges.
6) They can provide you with a dual mode Pirelli handset (or Windows mobile as well), so that you can even use Wifi to make and receive phone calls. Cubic-to-Cubic calls are free. The former phone for €99 and the latter for € 159.
I’ve been told that the VoIP infrastructure is completely owned by Cubic that can offer amazing quality thanks to agreements with major carriers like Verizon, BT, ITC and Colt Telecom. All direct connections, no VoIP trunks and so on. Good choice.
There is much more, of course, like 200 countries available soon, plans to get unlimited phone calls (received and made) for € 20 / month and a lot of new features. In the meantime, a SIM from MaxRoam costs €29.99, €5 of traffic included.
The problem? To me, only a matter of advertisement. To be really successful, a service like that must be properly advertised, since they are basically asking you to use their SIM card instead of that of your mobile operator. And, you know, mobile operators don’t save money when it comes of investing in advertisement. My question I asked Pat today on the phone is: how are you dealing with that? I’ll stay tuned…
Big enterprises should think carefully of this new service and embrace it as soon as possible. It would really be a big money-saving.
They are officially launching tomorrow (two days later) and a lucky customer who will buy a SIM from their website tomorrow could get an unlocked iPhone. I’m looking forward to trying it soon (and reviewing it, too) and taking a deep look at their rates, in order to understand if it’s really worth it.
All these premises tell me that it surely will be.
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