Cubic Telecom hopes to make global roaming reasonable

Employing a variety of creative techniques, Ireland's Cubic Telecom is looking to take the bank-breaking sting out of carrying your phone abroad. Announced at TechCrunch40 today, the centerpiece of Cubic's strategy is its "virtual PBX" -- 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. Also invloved is the "MAXroam" SIM itself -- toting aggressively discounted roaming rates that are the "result of years of negotiations with GSM carriers around the world" -- designed to be used everywhere a subscriber may be. Finally, Cubic is taking a hybrid GSM / WiFi approach; its handsets will support both traditional calls and VoIP services, with all VoIP calls on its own network coming free of charge. The MAXroam SIM card will be available separately for $40 starting September 24 or you'll be able to get it with one of the company's own handsets, a basic model for $135 (pictured) and a Windows Mobile device for $219; both phones launch October 1 with a MAXroam card included along with $8 in calling credit.