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NYT: New cheap phone solves global mobile woes?

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 it’s calling the first global mobile phone.

Sure, you could always rent a phone or use a phone card when you travel — 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 can’t touch the appeal of Cubic’s cellphone. It makes calls to or from any of 214 countries — 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 (that’s 90 percent off T-Mobile’s rate). The Cubic price from Russia is 49 cents a minute (90 percent lower than AT&T).

And there’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 traveler’s response ought to be involuntary drooling, but there’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…."

more at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/technology/circuits/27pogue.html?em&ex=1191038400&en=a2cd33b4f876aa56&ei=5087%0A

by Tom Popyk at 2007-09-27 19:49:35 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Vancouver , Canada | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Some good technical / cost discussion here: http://venturebeat.com/2007/09/17/maxroam-a-low-cost-alternative-for-mobile-international-calls/

Regards
Ralph

by Ralph Talmont | 27 Sep 2007 21:09 | Warsaw, Poland | | Report spam→
Well, tried to fone them – and it seems the fone no. on their website is wrong. sent an e-mail yesterday and haven’t received an answer so far.. we’ll see.

by Thomas Wiegold | 28 Sep 2007 21:09 | Berlin, Germany | | Report spam→
Or you can set up a skype-in number in any country where you want a local number, buy skype credits and set skype to forward to whatever number you choose if you don’t answer it while at your computer.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2007 00:09 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Irish ingenuity, apparently. They appear to really be onto something but the concern is that they may not yet be able to handle the global demand and need to expand their support operations first to be able to handle the growing inevitable growing pains.

by Paul Treacy | 29 Sep 2007 03:09 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→

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Participants

Tom Popyk, Journalist/Videographer Tom Popyk
Journalist/Videographer
New Delhi , India
Ralph Talmont, Photographer / producer Ralph Talmont
Photographer / producer
Monaco , Monaco
Thomas Wiegold, Journalist Thomas Wiegold
Journalist
Berlin , Germany ( TXL )
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
Photographer
(Photohumourist)
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )


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