Nat. Geographic launches world MVNO

The National Geographic Society will this month make a play for the mobile space, with the launch of an MVNO service for world travellers.

The National Geographic Talk Abroad Travel Phone is a prepaid only offering, allowing users to make and receive calls in over one hundred countries, while maintaining one cellular number.

It is free to receive calls in 65 destinations, including much of Europe, Africa the Middle East and Asia, with calls received in other parts of the world costing between $0.50 for Hong Kong and $2.00 for the US.

Outgoing calls are $0.90 per minute in about 50 destinations, up to $2.30 per minute for a call between the US and UK. SMS’ cost $0.60 to send worldwide.

The quad band GSM Travel Phone can either be rented on a weekly or monthly basis, or can be bought for $199.

The handset is manufactured by a little know British company now registered in Switzerland. WP Phones, which launched in 2004 is the only British brand of handset in the world and manufactures jointly with Samsung, Mitsubishi and, until recently, Siemens BenQ.

The subscription and distribution of the service are handled by US phone rental firm Cellular Abroad, which also brokered the MVNO deals with carriers around the world.

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