I've been chatting with Pat Phelan about Cubic Telecom's MaxRoam SIM and phones, which which were launched yesterday at TC40, for a while. Pat says "it's a game changer", and I tend to believe him. The offer is pretty compelling.
The phones are 99 euros (or 159 euros for the Windows Mobile version), with all the usual accessories – headsets, chargers, synch cables and so on. Dual mode WiFi / GSM phones, they can be used in any of thousands of hotspots worldwide, and Cubic has been busily cutting access deals everywhere in order to ensure that you have access everywhere. Calls from one Cubic subscriber to another are free when used in a hotspot. They also come with a MaxRoam SIM with 5 euros of credit. That's the kicker, frankly. The MaxRoam LD rates will make anyone turn their head sharply… for instance, calls in Canada cost .0063 euros. In the US, .0131 euros. In the UK… .011 euros. In addition, you can get a local number wherever you're going, so that when you travel others can call you cheaply as well. Each MaxRoam SIM can be provisioned with up to 50 numbers.
As Pat said to me last Friday: "All we want is a world where anyone, anywhere can use a mobile phone to call anyone in any country for as long as he or she wants without worrying about the price."
I can hardly wait to try it out.