Ok, so to be upfront as always, we represent some of the cooler companies around. Boingo and Truphone leads that list, as both are at the forefront of technology and making things easier for the road warrior. Especially the International Road Warrior who makes lots of calls back to the USA and Canada from other parts of the world. I use these services (and others) so as someone take it from someone who does more than just talk the talk. I also "walk the walk" as the original Road Warriors used to say.
This past week Truphone made some killer news with the updated iPhone client, adding the use of Truphone Anywhere to the iPhone, a service that is already working on the Nokias. Now here's the missing gem in the whole story. It's the previously launched Truphone Trusaver. That's the package for $15 dollars where you purchase 1000 minutes (read .015 cents per minute), something that I've had on my Nokia E71 and E90 phones for sometime with my longstanding Truphone number. Getting that package on the iPhone now is a huge plus as the size of the addressable market of iPhone users dwarfs the Nokia numbers of the higher end devices. What's more, the newly minuted Boingo Mobile client for the Nokias and the iPhone, the just released iPass client or the use of either DeviceScape or WiFinder on the iPhone means quick and seamless connectivity on the iPhone too.
So here's where it gets interesting. Boingo Mobile costs $7.50 for unlimited global access to their hotspot network on Boingo Mobile. iPass is rolling out a similar service on the iPhone too for $9.95 or $6.95 on contract. You can decide which is better for you. Of course, I'm biased towards my client, but the iPass program does have lots of corporate customers already so the combination of a corporate billed mobile and a corporate billed WiFi account plus Truphone makes for a happy CFO who stops seeing all kinds of global roaming costs. It also means that the traveling executive can stop having to justify why they called so and so, or worse, turn the phone off completely, and becoming unreachable for fear of a high roaming bill, something CrunchGear editor John Biggs learned the hard way.
So here's the math which makes the iPhone or a Nokia N or E series phone with Truphone plus the combination of either Boingo Mobile or iPass such a killer deal.
Truphone Trusaver 1000 minutes 15.00
WiFi Access 7.95 (I'm using the Boingo base as you can opt for the contract on iPass at $6.95 and the savings is greater but you may not need it every month and then their $9.95 is higher)
Figure you use all 1000 minutes in a month (regardless of being on a paid hotspot from Boingo or iPass or not)
Cost per minute $.02295 or less than 2.5 cents per minute to make calls.
What's more Truphone also points out that provided that you have purchased a new American Tru Saver bundle prior to the Expiry Date of your existing bundle, you may roll over any remaining or unused minutes into the next month, to a maximum of 2500 minutes in any monthly period. That's a really compelling offer, especially if you spend weeks away like I tend to do.
Now it gets even better with one other addition. It's the concept of a Rebel SIM on the iPhone. Since many iPhone's are sold as locked devices, you have to find a way to not JailBreak the phones. Unlike my Nokias which are all unlocked, for those of you who want to purchase a SIM in the country your visiting, like I tend to do, the Rebel SIM (and others like them) make it really easy to keep using your iPhone and all the applications. The combination of a Rebel SIM means Truphone Anywhere works with a local calling plan (no roaming charges) where ever you may be calling from, and then lets you take advantage of the Truphone low calling rates when you're not on a WiFi hotspot. When you are, the investment in a Boingo Mobile, T-Mobile or iPass account kicks in and the savings is even greater. Oh, yes and for those of you who really know how to travel, can find hotels that offer wired access, I suggest tossing in a travel router into you go kit, latch on to that and keep making those calls for 1.5 cents a minute.
The money you save over time will let you stay in a better hotel, enjoy their better grade of broadband and a better overall calling experience.