MaxRoam was launched today by Pat Phelan’s Cubic Telecom.
MaxRoam initially offers a sim card for your mobile phone which you use when roaming. The sim card costs â‚¬29.99. You can add multiple numbers to the sim card so that, if you live in Ireland, for instance but visit Spain frequently, you can have Irish and Spanish numbers mapped to the phone. You give the Irish number to your Irish contacts and the Spanish number to your Spanish contacts and everyone is making low cost calls.
This is great. â‚¬29.99 is about 1/10th of my last Vodafone bill when I was abroad!
Where it is even more impressive though is when you are in Spain (again, for example), receiving calls, the cost is far lower than receiving calls using your standard mobile operator.
Consider the Spanish MaxRoam charges
Now compare them to the Vodafone costs (I choose Vodafone as they are my mobile operator)
If I send or receive texts in Spain on Vodafone’s network they charge me 49c (on any other Spanish network they charge me 65c). With MaxRoam receiving texts in Spain is free and sending texts on any network is 37c.
Call charges with MaxRoam are similarly cheaper. Receiving a call is 25c (per minute, I assume), making a call is 33c p/m. Vodafone charge 29c p/m to receive call, 59c p/m to call within the EU â‚¬1.19 p/m for calls to the Americas and an eye-watering â‚¬3.19 per minute for calls to the rest of the world.
I choose Spain for this example ‘cos I have family living in Spain and go there regularly but you will get similar numbers for other countries.
What I am not clear on is when you are in another country, are you locked to a particular local mobile provider or will any work.
I know Pat well and while he’s a lovely guy, I know he’s not doing this out of the goodness of his heart. If Pat can charge these low rates and still make a profit, how much are the mobile operators coining in?
Whoop their asses Pat!
UPDATE – In Pat’s post about the launch he says:
What we will do is put YOU first, hereâ€™s my mobile +353872049121, if we leave YOU down in any way call me up and give me a piece of your mind.
And renowned Technology writer David Pogue gives MaxRoam a great write-up in the New York Times.
Now that’s impressive.