The TechCrunch40 conference took place the last couple of days and there was one company in particular that mobile enthusiasts may be interested in. Cubic Telecom announced the launch of the first "truly global" mobile phone. According to details of the new service posted on The Register, Cubic plans to have a basic phone (EUR 99.95) and a Windows Mobile version (EUR 159.95) available on 1 October. You can also just purchase MAXroam SIM card (EUR 29.99) that can be used in any unlocked GSM phone. As a result of negotiations with GSM carriers all over the world you will be able to create up to 50 permanent local phone numbers for your SIM and place calls at low per-minute rates. U.S. wireless carriers are also tough customers and I wonder if they were able to negotiate with them or if this functionality is primarily targeted to the international marketplace.
The handsets are dual-band GSM/WiFi devices that will switch between VoIP and cellular calls, depending on what is less expensive in the area where you happen to be at the time. I wonder if current WiFi-enabled mobile phones (S60 and Windows Mobile devices come to mind) will support the functionality provided with the MAXroam SIM?
This sounds interesting since at this time you either need to pay the roaming costs to your GSM carrier or purchase a SIM in the country where you are traveling. They state you could make WiFi calls for as low as 1 cent/minute or cellular calls for as low as 15 cents/minute so this may be a great option for travelers and global workers. The Cubic Telecom website hasn't been launched yet, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more details as the service launches next month.