FYI, and not an endorsement: perhaps a alternative to all those roaming rates …
“A Cellphone Without Borders
Early next month, a small company called Cubic Telecom will release what itâ€™s calling the first global mobile phone.
Sure, you could always rent a phone or use a phone card when you travel â€” but then nobody knows how to reach you.
Now, most carriers offer special international plans: you pay more a month, you get slightly lower roaming rates. But even they canâ€™t touch the appeal of Cubicâ€™s cellphone. It makes calls to or from any of 214 countries â€” for 50 to 90 percent off what the big carriers would charge.
On this phone, a 20-minute call from the Bahamas costs $5.80 (thatâ€™s 90 percent off T-Mobileâ€™s rate). The Cubic price from Russia is 49 cents a minute (90 percent lower than AT&T).
And thereâ€™s no monthly fee and no commitment for any of this. It works like a prepaid phone, where you put some money in your account and use it up as you talk.
At this point, the appropriate world travelerâ€™s response ought to be involuntary drooling, but thereâ€™s more to the story. Most of it is more good news, but also more complexity.
For example, consider this: at the MaxRoam.com site from Cubic, you can request local phone numbers in up to 50 cities at no charge. Now you can have a Paris number, a London number and a Mexico City number that your friends overseas can use to call your cellphone.
No longer must you hand out a series of international phone numbers for each trip you make, or expect your colleagues in the United States to pay $50 a pop to reach you…."
2007-09-27 19:49:35 UTC
Mar 12 2008