A new service operating from Ireland claims to allow mobile phone users travelling between different countries to avoid the high costs of roaming, cutting call charges by up to 90pc.
Roam4Free, a company based in Cork, said its service can currently be used in 115 countries on three continents. The reach of the service will be expanded over the coming months. Roam4Free is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cubic Telecom, a private Cork-based company that offers long-distance phone calls.
For a one-time cost of €20, users buy the SIM card which is inserted into their mobile. The cost also includes €5 free credit for calls, which can be topped up later at Roam4Free’s website (www.roam4free.ie) or through affiliate sites including www.dial-home.com and www.cheapchat.ie.
According to the company, if someone on holiday in Italy, for example, received a call from Ireland, they would have to pay as much as €6 using standard operators’ charges but using the Roam4Free service there would be no cost attached. Alternatively, making a four-minute call from Italy back to Ireland via a mobile would be €2 with Roam4Free instead of anywhere up to €10.
Pat Phelan, co-founder and CEO of Roam4Free, said he was not giving away the service. “Roam4Free can do this and still operate at a comfortable profit margin,” he said in his blog. “This should give people some idea of just how much profit traditional international carriers are making off of us.”
By Gordon Smith