Free Wireless Roaming Around the World

letsroam.jpgOne of the stresses when I go on a business trip, especially overseas, is that I will be out of touch. I like being able to call the office and checking in with my family. Vacations are no different, and in a recent trip to Europe earlier this summer we bought cheap mobile phones just because we’re the kind of people who need that mobile handset tucked away in our pockets. But we also found that a mobile phone bought in London doesn’t work so well in Paris!

On our next trip I’ll have to give letsroam a trip. The company just launched its new global SIM card, which operates in more than 90 countries and provides free roaming in more than 50 nations. The service requires that users replace the SIM in their unlocked – and unlocked is the key – GSM wireless phone. This then allows you to move between countries, where the service should work seamlessly.

Now we haven’t tested it, so we can’t make any promises but so far this sounds like a good alternative. The rates vary according to the country you’re in, so check the company’s Web site for a list. There seems to be a bit of fine print, such as you can receive calls for free in some countries – but not all. And the cost of calls also varies. While letsroam says it costs around 80 percent less than some other mobile plans, they give examples such as calls from the U.K. to the United States costing around $0.40 a minute, but neglect what it might cost to use the phone with the SIM to make local calls while in the U.K.

“letsroam was created as a direct result of customer enquiries for a low cost wireless service when traveling,” said Shane Siggins, the managing director of letsroam. “Customers are not happy paying high hotel phone or roaming costs. It’s a natural evolvement to our highly acclaimed ‘Card4anywhere’ product which was launched back in 2001. This new service allows customers to make cheap calls directly from their cell and dramatically reduce their roaming costs when abroad, not just in Europe but many other countries too. We are really excited about the potential reach of the new product, not just to individuals but to businesses too, for which we have incorporated conference call functionality into the letsroam service. We hope to offer other value added services to businesses in the next few months.”

So this might be a good service for checking in with the home office when compared to rates from hotels or even payphones. Plus it will let the home office check in on you, but you still might need to get local SIM cards if you’re planning to see the sights and will talk locally.