Global phone tackles roaming charges

An Irish startup is preparing to tackle high mobile roaming charges with a proposal that effectively makes “all global calls local calls”.

Cubic Telecom is pitching a dual band GSM/wifi phone with features allowing users to make and receive low cost calls worldwide.

Firstly, there is MAXroam, what Cubic claims is “the world’s first universal SIM,” – the result of years of negotiations with GSM carriers around the world to offer the best country to country phone rates anywhere.

Secondly is full PBX functionality on the handset. Although consumers get a single phone number, they can create up to 50 multiple permanent local numbers for themselves for any country, so all calls are forwarded to their Cubic Mobile phone, no matter where the calls originate.

Thirdly, all VoIP calls within the Cubic network are free. Customers get a short code that they can use to make free VoIP calls to any other customer on the Cubic network.

“We are living in a world where more and more people need to make phone calls across borders and while travelling. Our mantra is ‘all global calls should be local calls,’ and we have built a product that can do that,” said Cubic CEO and co-founder Pat Phelan.

The handset, which comes in two models, will be available October 1 at The basic model will sell for $135 and a Windows Mobile version will sell for $219. The MAXRoam SIM is also available separately for $40 and will be available on September 24 at

The idea of a local MVNO was also floated by UK-based Cherry Mobile last year. When travelling, the SIM locks onto the strongest network partner signal and allows users to make calls over the local network, which Cherry claims are significantly cheaper than roaming calls.

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