Frequent travelers know that using your mobile handset can be expensive when you’re traveling abroad. For example, take you’re AT&T handset over to Europe, and you may pay $1-2 per minutes for even local calls and high rates for data as well.
To combat these high calling prices, some travelers carry an unlocked GSM handsets and buy pre-paid mobile phone service in the countries in which they travel. I did this on a recent trip to Barcelona where I utilized Yoigo to make cheap calls and use their inexpensive 3G data service on my Nokia handsets.
There are other solutions such as MaxRoam whereby you buy a SIM and pay moderately priced rates for SMS and voice calling.
Yesterday, Truphone announced another offering that will help international travelers. With Truphone Local Anywhere, you can have a SIM that, like MaxRoam, works in multiple locations. However, Truphone Local Anywhere will forward SMS messages and will also accommodate mobile data.
Who is the target market for this service? According to an interview I had with CEO Geraldine Wilson, she stated the audience is highly-mobile professionals, ex pats workers, and anyone needing mobile service abroad.
My hope is that Truphone can score a broad-ranging distribution deal to market Truphone Local Anywhere. If they do,the company will see sales grow and can help aid nomadic callers who just want to converse at reasonable rates.
For more perspective, read Jim Courtney’s summary.