QIK and Cubic Telecom, led by pal Pat Phelan, have taken the first step towards helping traveling mobile users save money on more than calls, by launching a mobile roaming platform, called QikRoam, that includes discounted global data roaming.
First, as one of the founders of Cubic Telecom shared with me a few months back at IT Expo in Miami, the rates being initially offered for data roaming are a starting point. What this means is the traveler can know what they will be paying on their data bill, and save money on their voice calls, have all the MaxRoam services and benefits (pre-paid calling, local numbers in country, SMS, etc.) plus the piece of mind of knowing they won't see a huge bill. This mirrors the kind of thinking that client Truphone has behind their upcoming Truphone Local Anywhere service.
The Cubic folks have done an amazing job at piecing this all together, and a quick look saw rates where people travel the most with discounts up to 80 percent. For, those who don't want to SIM swap as they go from country to country (as I do) the service is meaningful, and is the next generation of MaxRoam. By working with a partner in QIK, which needs access to the data network to send video, it's a perfect match. So while other options exist, like buying pre-paid cards in each country, but that tends to leave you with credit left over, while the Qik/Cubic offer lets you use that credit in the next country.
Congrats to being the disruptor in telecom Pat. And to the Qik folks, well done.