Maxroam teams up with Ryanair to offer free EU roaming to 78 million passengers

Maxroam, the mobile company out to disrupt mobile cell roaming, has signed a significant deal with Ryanair, Europe’s biggest low-cost airline which carries 78 million passengers annually. The deal is to create the world’s first free mobile phone roaming service allowing passengers to receive free mobile calls and SMS messages when they travel abroad.

Although the deal is being marketed via Ryanair’s channels, anyone can take advantage of it by buying a SIM card. I’m told the deal will last for around a year. Given that Europeans have to cross borders frequently when travelling, this could well shake-up the mobile market here.

For 5 Euro you get a SIM card sent to you for free with 10 Euro credit already on it. Incoming texts and calls will be free, while it will cost 29 Euro cents per minute to make calls from one European country to another and 9c to send standard text/SMS messages, across 43 European countries. Data will cost 99c per MB, which makes a change from the average. This is 40% of EU regulated rates, so it really is a significant cost saving.

As part of its exclusive deal with Maxroam, Ryanair has also released one million free Maxroam ‘received call’ roaming minutes to new and existing customers.

Maxroam SIM cards can be put in standard GSM mobile phones while iPad and iPhone SIM cards are also available, said Maxroam’s Kieran Sexton.

This is pretty disruptive to the industry, given the amount of foot-fall Ryanair gets a year.