I’ve been waiting for this for AGES.
Finally Pat and the team at Cubic Telecom have done it! It’s been a long hard slog of negotiations, testing and goodness knows how many peering agreements and finally they’re about to go live — and not without garnering significant attention (check out Scoble’s perspective on them).
Here’s the guts of the announcement today:
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.
If you travel abroad often, it might be worth getting yourself a Cubic Mobile — that is, a physical dual-band GSM/Wi-Fi handset that automatically identifies the cheapest call route.
Or, you can simply get yourself the MaxRoam sim card which will work in any unlocked device.
I haven’t activated it yet — I’ve gotta wait ’til 24th September then I can activate it at maxroam.com — just in time for my visit to Italy.
I’m really excited at the prospect of being able to create up to 50 permanent local numbers around the world — that’ll be absolutely wicked. I’ll keep you updated with my exploits. If you’d like to join in, get yourself over to maxroam.com and get yourself a sim… and avoid the three-quid-a-minute charges when you’re abroad!