Roaming Cap In Play Today

All of a sudden it seems that I’ve come from a family who like to travel a lot. I’ve managed to get away twice this year, most recently to Portugal at the end of the May. My brother has just returned from there. My grandparents are just back from Poland. One cousin has just left for France for the summer while my parents are currently driving around Italy until the middle of the month.

I’ve a sneaking feeling they’ll not have brought my MAXroam sim but if they do get to catch up with the blog today, they’ll be happy to read (as will a lot of people) that the new cap on roaming charges comes into play from today including

  • Receiving a call capped at 19c p/m
  • Making a call capped at 43c p/m
  • Sending a text capped at 11c p/m

Whatever about the call charges, I’d certainly be happy with the reduction of the text charges as (at least in Europe) I would tend to rely a lot on them for the usual light communication chit-chat (“there in a minute” etc.). That said, unless anything changes at the last minute or I take a notion, the next stint away within the EU will be Paris next May.

You can read more on The Guardian’s site, with details of pricing in UK sterling.

Another Step Forward For MAXroam with SeaRoam

SeaRoamReading in the Examiner today that MAXroam have taken another huge step forward in announcing their next partnership deal, this time with international charity, the Mission to Seafarers. The partnership sees MAXroam sim cards branded up as SeaRoam sim cards, along with the introduction of a scratch-card type pre-paid setup, with cards available in every port the mission operates from. Congrats to Pat Phelan and all the Cubic team on that one.

Check out SeaRoam.com.

Go Mobile, Not Broke with Cubic Telecom and Qik

QikGo Mobile, Not Broke. You’ve got to love the tagline. And you’ve got to love the fact that an Irish company keeps getting bigger and broader. The mail this morning brings news that Cubic Telecom in Cork have followed their already existing partnerships with Dopplr, GetCover Insurance, Big Red Book and others to partner up with Qik.com. It was the likes of Pat Phelan (Cubic) and Bernie Goldbach that got me into using Qik to stream videos from my N95, a practice I’ll admit I don’t get to do all that often but when I do, they seem to make a good impression, traffic-wise.

The blurb…

The partnership with Cubic Telecom will see Qik give its users the opportunity to purchase Qik-branded SIM cards enabling them to stream video live from all corners of the planet – without coming home to an astronomical phone bill. The Qik SIM also provides massive savings on voice calls, email, web browsing and texting while they travel. Under the tagline “Go mobile, not broke,” Qik is offering its users a simple, inexpensive way to share live video no matter where they are. The Qik pre-paid SIM cards with full voice and data can be purchased from http://qik.com/roam. This is also where customers can manage their accounts.

“Travelers can now share their world journeys with videos, photos, text, and calls from their mobile device without it costing the earth.” said Pat Phelan, Cubic Telecom CEO “We’ve heard of the horror stories of travelers returning from a trip abroad to cell phone bills in the thousands of euros. The Qik SIM eliminates this worry for our customers.”

“We are excited to partner with Cubic Telecom to offer Qik SIM cards to our users,” said Ramu Sunkara, Qik CEO. “With the Qik pre-paid SIM cards, Qikkers across the world can now share their moments when they are traveling without having to worry about voice or data roaming costs. It’s like sending a live video postcard to your friends and family from wherever you are.”

Post-blurb…

I gave an outline of the Qik service to a potential client last week as a means of using live video streaming and interacting with an audience during a presentation, which got me to thinking why am I not Qikking the gigs that I’m involved in running in Kilkenny and elsewhere. For those not on any kind of stellar data plan or those operating outside of a wifi area, the partnership with Qik and Cubic Telecom, particularly when roaming out and about, could well breed a whole new line of Qik.com users.

I’ve got plenty of trips lined up this year where I would like the opportunity to stream from my handset without blowing an incredible hole in my wallet – Amsterdam, Belfast, Portugal, Dubai… where do I sign up?

MAXroaming In Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand

MAXroamAs I got to enjoy the use of my MAXroam sim in Germany back in January, I’m “donating it to the cause” in a few weeks, sending my sim and a capable mobile to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand as my father will spend 2-3 weeks cycling between different areas in the three countries. I would hope next year that I will be following the sim on it’s eastern world travels.

Here’s a look at the roaming costs, compared to O2 (the family mobile operator – we’re all on O2 at the moment, including three businesses).

While calling numbers within the countries will likely be low on the agenda, keeping contact with the family at home is key so it’s nice to see that using the MAXroam sim will save at least 50% at peak times in calls to Ireland, but it will save up to 80% on incoming calls while in Vietnam (cheers Pat). Given there is no landline to phone in Sligo, any calls home will be made to Irish mobile phones.

MAXroam vs O2 (Vietnam)

 
MAXroam
O2
Incoming Call
€0.21
€1.36/1.36
Outgoing Call (to Irish mobile)
€0.48
€0.98/0.72
Outgoing Call (to Irish landline)
€0.37
€0.98/0.72
Outgoing Call (to local landline)
€0.44
€0.33/0.23
Outgoing Call (to local mobile)
€0.44
€0.33/0.23
Text Message (SMS)
€0.22
€0.39
Voice Mail
€0.26
€0.98

MAXroam vs O2 (Cambodia)

 
MAXroam
O2
Incoming Call
€1.40
€1.36/1.36
Outgoing Call (to Irish mobile)
€1.64
€1.76/1.76
Outgoing Call (to Irish landline)
€1.53
€1.76/1.76
Outgoing Call (to local landline)
€1.70
€1.29/1.29
Outgoing Call (to local mobile)
€1.70
€1.29/1.29
Text Message (SMS)
€0.22
€0.39
Voice Mail
€1.31
€1.76

MAXroam vs O2 (Thailand)

 
MAXroam
O2
Incoming Call
€0.66
€1.97/1.97
Outgoing Call (to Irish mobile)
€0.90
€1.58/1.58
Outgoing Call (to Irish landline)
€0.79
€1.58/1.58
Outgoing Call (to local landline)
€0.80
€0.61/0.61
Outgoing Call (to local mobile)
€0.80
€0.61/0.61
Text Message (SMS)
€0.37
€0.39
Voice Mail
€0.66
€1.58

Given a lot of the trip will be spent in Vietnam, there should be a good saving on phone calls, if you compare the costs above. Savings are marginal on the Cambodia leg of the trip – though there are still savings while all is good in Thailand.

Note: O2 suggest using Viettel as their ‘preferred partner network’ in Vietnam, Cam GSM for Cambodia and AIS (as opposed to DTAC) for Thailand. Prices also correct for both parties as of March 18th 2007.

MAXroam To Launch Today

MAXroamPreviewed at TechCrunch40, Cork-based MAXroam (formerly roam4free) launches later today with Cubic Telecom getting its launch next month.

Kickoff for MAXroam looks set to be midday (12pm GMT) today and if you purchase a MAXroam sim, something I intend to do as I’ll be traveling in November this year along with trips to Toronto and possibly San Francisco in the New Year, you might win yourself an iPhone. Not only that, but the iPhone is unlocked so you’ll have no problem using your new MAXroam sim or your own Irish sim.

Mention of a blogger program too… curiosity has got me there but I’m sure most, if not all, will be revealed at 12 today.

Update:
Site launched before midday, grabbed myself a sim card. For €29.99 with €5 credit, the price is great considering the savings it can create.