Going on vacation to a foreign destination is typically fun but expensive. There's the flying, hotel, eating out and bill shock from international roaming rates. KnowRoaming, a Toronto-based manufacturer of a smart SIM sticker, have rolled out an improved (thinner) sticker and new rates, which include unlimited data in fifty five countries. The company has fulfilled its Kickstarter backers and now have thousands of customers from English-speaking countries around the world benefiting from cheaper international data roaming rates. Chief Executive Officer Gregory Gundelfinger says that the business is about stopping bill shock and that many people don't understand how much cheaper it is to buy a local SIM at the destination. Of those that do, it's not always obvious how best to buy a SIM card and if you manage it, how to ensure you're on the right SIM product for your requirements. Some destinations require visitor identification for tracking purposes whereas France requires a French bank account to buy a pre-paid SIM card.
KnowRoaming's ingenious solution is to apply a thin sticker to your existing SIM card, then piggyback the service to use their carrier (and subsequent roaming rates) rather than your own. The sticker is smart and may be updated over the air. This means that new features can be rolled out to the sticker going forwards. This can lead to prices that are up to 80% less than the usual costs from your carrier. The unlimited offering starts at CA$7.99 per day for unlimited data, which includes the USA, UK and South Africa. If this price looks familiar, it's because Canadian carrier Rogers offers a $7.99 / 50 MB per day bundle for customers traveling to the USA. Given the choice between $8 for 50 MB or $8 for unlimited, KnowRoaming are betting that most will opt for the unlimited data option.
KnowRoaming has a few additional services. One is that the iPhone and Android applications have been reworked to make it much easier to set up roaming packages, configure APNs, top up money and add the Reach Me number. This leads me to the Reach Me option: this provides customers with the option to make much cheaper international calling but, importantly, to appear as though you're using your number, rather than a random, recycled number. KnowRoaming also provide a free local number calling to customers roaming into the USA and UK and significantly cheaper long distance calling. You can also configure the service so that rather than see your Canadian number, people see a US or UK number. You can buy extra numbers if you want for a small monthly fee. And the final new feature perhaps ties in with Android's push into the corporate market as KnowRoaming are launching an enterprise portal for businesses that want to buy and control multiple SIMs at the same time. This is a great way for businesses to cut costs when sending employees overseas
All up, if you travel overseas and are fed up of paying extortionate international rates, but don't want to mess about swapping SIM cards and reconfiguring data services, KnowRoaming offers a one-stop way of paying far, far less and making life easier, too. Hit up KnowRoaming if you're interested!