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You still can't power on your smartphone across the pond in London and expect to pay the same fees you do back in New York, but several offerings make it cheaper to get online across the globe. One of our favorites, KeepGo (formerly iPhoneTrip), has been our preferred method for browsing the web in Canada, Cambodia, and everywhere in between. But daily rates do add up, and that service requires that you swap in a separate SIM, tucking your primary card away until you're back on your contracted network's home turf. KnowRoaming, a new player in this space, has an even more appealing option, however. That firm's SIM "stickers" include all the electronics in a thin film that you can attach to any SIM card using the included applicator. The sticker sits dormant in your unlocked phone when you're at home, but once you cross a border, the service prompts you to jump onto a local network, bypassing your original SIM in the process.
Everything is already up and running, including servers, carrier agreements and a call center to provide support, but KnowRoaming needs to raise funds to bring its sticker to production. There are agreements in place with several carriers around the world, who in turn give users access to networks in 220 countries at varying rates. You can expect to pay less than 30 cents per MB in Europe or 10 cents in the US (if you're based overseas), though tariffs in some other countries will run you a bit more (between 70 and 95 percent of the amount your home carrier would charge for roaming, according to company reps).
Rates are always changing, often for the better, and updated provisioning can be pushed over the air, enabling lower fees as soon as they're available. You can send and receive texts and phone calls as well -- each sticker includes a US and UK number that callers can use to reach you, and you can add numbers in other locales as well for a monthly fee. You can pre-order the sticker (and applicator) for $35, excluding credit, at the source link below. It's set to ship beginning in February, but the first 500 customers can expect delivery in December. BlackBerry stickers will be available in April.
Previous project update: Little Robot Friends, an interactive tool designed to teach youngsters the basics of programming, has exceed its goal of $55,000. It's set to begin shipping to backers in January.
KNOWROAMING LAUNCH SIGNALS THE END OF INTERNATIONAL ROAMING CHARGE and BILL SHOCK
SIM card sticker reduces voice, data and text roaming rates up to 90% in 220 countries
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013: TORONTO -- KnowRoaming, a Toronto based technology company, today launched the KnowRoaming sticker which automatically connects mobile phones to local wireless carriers and provides reduced voice, data and texting roaming rates when traveling abroad in more than 220 countries. The easy to apply sticker is the world's thinnest and most powerful SIM card adhesive that reduces roaming charges by as much as 90% compared to domestic provider roaming rates. KnowRoaming is compatible with all unlocked phones and SIM cards and is available today at www.knowroaming.com starting at $35.
The sticker is only activated when the phone leaves its home country and begins to roam in a foreign country. While a user is at home, the technology is completely dormant and does not interfere with the user's home plan.
KnowRoaming's smart sticker is the equivalent of removing your SIM card and replacing it with a new SIM card to reduce roaming rates for calls and data while traveling internationally. The SIM only needs to be applied once to a SIM card which automatically activates every time the user travels abroad.
"We know roaming and have created a device that emulates the convenience of traditional roaming without the cost," said KnowRoaming CEO and co-founder Gregory
Gundelfinger. "We looked at why roaming has persisted for so long and why people continue to pay exorbitant fees and decided to dedicate ourselves to developing a seamless and convenient solution to these problems. With the KnowRoaming sticker, never again will you have to search for wifi, buy a local SIM card or be shocked by international roaming charges."
KnowRoaming technology is based on a patent-pending SIM card platform that enables precision over the air updates (POTA) of any part of the code using silent SMS on all smartphones.
A free companion app, used for managing your account, will be available for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry app stores. The app enables users to create an account, monitor their usage in real time, compare rates to their home provider and top-up their account even when you have no credit. The entire technology is prepaid and your credit never expires so whatever you don't use on one trip you can always use on your next.
KnowRoaming also provides call forwarding from a user's home number via connected numbers technology which allows a user to receive all incoming calls from their home SIM and displays their home number to whomever they call while traveling abroad. This technology also enables users to purchase a local number in the country they are traveling in through the KnowRoaming app so they can be contacted without having to call back to￼￼ their home country.
KnowRoaming is available today for pre-order at KnowRoaming.com. Rewards begin at $35 for a KnowRoaming Sticker with Applicator. Couples, Family, Small Business and Large Business rewards packages are also available. Learn more and connect with us Twitter and Facebook.
KnowRoaming is a Toronto, Canada-based technology company singularly focused on reducing and/or eliminating roaming-shock (i.e. that feeling you get when you see your wireless bill after returning from a trip abroad.) The company has developed the world's thinnest and most powerful SIM card that emulates traditional roaming without the hassle or cost. KnowRoaming has secured roaming rates in 220 countries giving our users up to 90% off their calls, data and texts while traveling abroad.
To learn more, visit www.knowroaming.com.