One SIM to conquer all
I've been trialing Cubic Telecom's Pirelli Discus DP-L10 dual mode mobile/cell phone (Wifi/GSM) for the last several weeks. (yes that is the tire/tyre company!). Even helped some of the Irish startups on their Paddy's Valley trip.
I don't have the ability to try their MaxRoam product (where most of his "advantage" currently lies) - not resident in EU and not really applicable in the USA. Maybe on my next Irish trip!
I've made several calls to US, Ireland and UK - both to landlines and mobiles and quality has been fantastic (even so that my wife didn't complain as she normally does on transatlantic calls). And as an Irishman that has worked back-n-forth across the pond many times I know how phone calls can suck! Most of those have been over a Wifi (WPA2) connection running VOIP. Its all pretty easy and painless.
David Berlind does a in-depth review ("If Skype was disruptive to telcos, then Cubic Telecom is their nightmare (and good for you") of the technology with plenty of comments on his ZdNet blog (Under the hood of disruptive technologies)
Its not quite in the FMC league (as it doesnt do any hand-off of a call between GSM and Wifi/ calls) but you can set preferences as regards having Wifi calls when service available (and hence 'free')
As David as pointed out there are LOTS of cost savings (and convenience) if you fit the right profile (in EU, travelling around and do a lot of calls on your mobile)
It has a WAP browser for accessing 'mobile aware' internet web sites. Its fine if u're after short/specific info but not (like most low end internet mobiles) the best user experience. Also the browser has some stability problems (not sure what OEM version its running); I'd prefer a more open plattform (Opera mini brow, OpenMako etc.) but for that u pay and need 2 get nerdy :)
There are some nice features such as ...
up to 50 local numbers of the user's choosing can be linked to a single SIM, making it affordable for callers to get in touch no matter where they may be.via TechCrunch. They presented at the TechCrunch-40 in Sept 2007. Review here
As Damien has indicated ..
It's like those Skypeout numbers but all going to one account. Handy for those who want to have "local offices" in many countries but don't want a physical office there.From Pat via TechCrunch-UK
..This model is unique, you can drop and add local numbers, these are fixed line numbers not my mobile numbers, you make a local call and the person receiving saves money, that’s the point..From Tornado Insider
The SIM card allows users to allocate up to fifty local landline numbers from around the world to the user's phone. A businessman based in Dublin who travels regularly to the USA and Canada can allocate landline numbers from Dublin, New York and Toronto to his MAXroam SIM, meaning that he can be contacted cheaply and directly by colleagues and customers at any time. His Canadian customers simply call a Toronto number, and his mobile phone will ring wherever he is. His Irish colleagues simply call a Dublin number, and get connected straight to him - whether he's in Dublin, New York, Toronto or elsewhere
As they've been rushing this product out the door there have been some teething issues and hoping those are getting fixed. Some of the user's (access) web site needs improvement/polish etc.
I'll review Cubic's (Cork, Ireland) strategy in more detail later and compare to TruPhone, Jangl and several of the other VOIP/mobile players that are out there. I know Pat Phelan has some great vision on where he is going with this (anyone say 'USA'?) and I'm not talking food (Pat used 2b a chef!).
I'll also try this via a GrandCentral front-end and see how it works and maybe a Celtrek#
A Cellphone Without Borders By DAVID POGUE- NY Times
final review with lots of comments
Celtrak/Global Roaming teams up with Cubic
review of phone/service by Bernard Tyers
Cubic phone review by Dameon Welch-Abemathy
More later ...
PS I had 2 send my phone back as 'knackered' (Irish technical term!) - why me -only one so far. Awaiting on new delivery (Hurry up Santa! aka Pat!)
PS #2 why is their no cheap US SIM's - using AT&T PAYG (25c/min - ouch!)