Kind of how I’d describe the new Roam4Free now known as MaxRoam products. Pat has launched the new roaming service as well as the mobile phones themelves at Techcrunch and already Scoble thinks the product is the biz. I think a lot of people will realise how good it is in a while. Not that the Engadget folks or their followers seem to be able to get their head around it.
I got to play with the phones and quiz Pat a little on how the service worls. The roaming part is easy enough. You get a sim. It has a number. When you roam, you get cheaper deals by routing over the MaxRoam network. You can add a new local number for the country you are in by adding it to the sim online for a fee. Clever. This means you can create a whole lot of local virtual offices and they all route to one mobile. Americans roaming in Spain? Get a sim with an American number, have Americans contact them on that and have local Spanish business people contact them on a Spanish number that they add to the sim. Come back to America and the Spaniards can still use the Spanish number to contact you.
The phones, they’re nice. Mobile and WiFi. Free handset to handset calls over WiFi networks and a small charge if you call via WiFi and terminate on a non cubic phone. Love this idea.
Everything about this is great except I am really really not a fan of the website. Business people won’t appreciate how informal it is, it does not look professional and I think it might be good to do some SEO work on the site too. I’m not sure how these people do it, but some sites appear BIG, like they are built to serve millions, this looks nothing like that.
Press release blurb:
Cubic Mobile is a dual-band GSM/Wi-Fi phone that comes with several major innovations enabling callers to make and receive low-cost calls around the planet, wherever they roam:
* MAXroam: the world’s first universal SIM card, offering consumers the best country-to-country phone rates anywhere. The MAXroam SIM, which can also be purchased separately, is a major breakthrough, and the result of years of negotiations with GSM carriers around the world.
* As many phone numbers as you like: full PBX functionality on the handset. Consumers get a single phone number, but can create multiple permanent local numbers for themselves – up to 50 – anywhere around the globe. All calls are forwarded to their Cubic Mobile phone, no matter where the calls originate, at the best rates for the callers.
* All Voice over IP (VoIP) calls within the Cubic network are free. All Cubic Mobile customers get a short code that they can use to make free VoIP calls to any other customer on the Cubic network. This is an especially attractive feature to families who live across borders and globally distributed companies and workgroups.
Cubic Mobile has been designed by a team with extensive experience in consumer and wireless technologies. It also has the ability to route a call to the lowest cost network available, whether it is GSM or Wi-Fi. “It’s consumer friendly in many ways, said Pat Phelan. “It is friendly in its utter simplicity, but also friendly in its ability to also ensure that you and your callers are always getting the lowest rates”.
Pricing and Availability
* Cubic Mobile, which comes in two models, will be available from October 1st at www.cubictelecom.com. The basic model will sell for EUR99.95 and a Windows Mobile version at EUR159.95 (both handsets come with a MAXroam SIM included and an initial EUR5 calling credit).
* MAXroam, which operates on any unlocked GSM phone, can be purchased separately for EUR29.99 (with an initial EUR5 calling credit) and is available on September 24th at www.maxroam.com.