/>
X

Join or Sign In

Register for your free ZDNet membership or if you are already a member, sign in using your preferred method below.

Use your email Use Linkedin Use Facebook

MaxRoam drives cost/complexity out of international roaming

When combined with an unlocked GSM phone that's also WiFi capable, Cubic Telecom's MaxRoam service shows some promise to dramatically lower the cost of roaming not just for international travelers, but also for those who want to reach him or her.

|
zd-defaultauthor-david-berlind.jpg
|
Topic: Hardware
177608.png
1 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
When combined with an unlocked GSM phone that's also WiFi capable, Cubic Telecom's MaxRoam service shows some promise to dramatically lower the cost of roaming not just for international travelers, but also for those who want to reach him or her.
In addition to getting a SIM card that must be paired with an unlocked phone, MaxRoam users also get access to a Web site that's essentially a dashboard for controlling their phone.
Through the Web site, you can pre-pay minutes for your SIM (TopUp), buy additional phone numbers that will ring through to your phone (over WiFi and/or the cell network), manage existing numbers, and forward any of the numbers under your control to another number (eg: a landline or another cell phone -- perhaps a CDMA-based one when you're in the States).
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
177609.png
2 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, users of MaxROAM SIMs can assign as many as 50 separate phone numbers to their MaxRoam SIM from as many as 28 countries simultaneously (MaxRoam on the whole can offer you numbers from 160 different countries, but only 28 of them simultaneously).
Through the Buy another number menu item on the left hand side of the screen, MaxRoam users are offered the opportunity to buy a new number from any one of the supported countries for an average cost of 2 euros per number per month.
If, for example, you buy a number for France, it will greatly reduce the inbound roaming charges to you when people from France call that number (while saving them the cost associated with making international calls).
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
177610.png
3 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
When selecting a number to map to a MaxRoam SIM, the user interface is very much like the way Skype works when picking a Skype-In number for mapping inbound plain old telephone system calls to your Skype account. Once you pick a number, anybody who dials that number (anybody who you give that number to) can reach you on your cell phone.
MaxRoam SIMs also support WiFi-based outbound and inbound calling. So, if you buy a WiFi number for your phone and you're connected to a WiFi network, people can call any of the numbers that are associated to the WiFi radio, and it will ring through to your phone.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
177611.png
4 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
Any of the MaxRoam numbers associated with your SIM can be forwarded to another number (eg: a landline) at no forwarding cost. Roaming charges would still apply though... for example, if someone called one of your numbers and it involved some form of roaming. Even then however, the roaming charges are still remarkably less expensive than those you'd typically get with other carriers.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176874.jpg
5 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
To set up the Cubic Telecom phone furnished to me for making WiFi calls, I pressed the menu button (the silver rocker button) and it brings up these icons, one of which (highlighted) is an antenna. By "mousing over to it" and pressing the silver button again it takes you to the next screen in the WiFi setup process.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176875.jpg
6 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
After "selecting" the antenna on the previous screen, this is the resulting menu. The choice we are looking for (to continue with WiFi setup) is "HotSpot" (see next screen).
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176876.jpg
7 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
Here, we've "moused down" to "HotSpot" and now, we press the silver rocker button to select the Hotspot menu item.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176877.jpg
8 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
After picking "HotSpot," we are offered two choices: "Active Settings" and "Edit Act. Settings." To continue setting up the phone for WiFi access, we want the second one.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176878.jpg
9 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
Picking "Edit Act. Settings"
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176879.jpg
10 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
After selecting "Edit Act. Settings," we want to scan the airwaves for available WiFi networks to connect the phone to.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176880.jpg
11 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
Choices at this point are scan or security. The security screen is where you'd enter encryption key data (eg: WEP). We want scan to look for an open WiFi hotspot.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176881.jpg
12 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
We can manually enter a hotspot's SSID or we can scan for it. For simplicities sake, we'll pick "Scan."
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176882.jpg
13 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
The phone begins its scan of the airwaves....
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176883.jpg
14 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
...and voila, it finds the WiFi network that was floating around us at the time (in Ireland, it's called BitBuzz). We click the silber button to SAVE it.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176884.jpg
15 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
The phone says it has saved the bitbuzz hotspot as its WiFi connection....
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176885.jpg
16 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
And now, we are back at the phone's "home screen" where it shows that it has signal strength from two different networks: the GSM signal on the left (note that it says Vodaphone IE in the middle.. that's the GSM carrier in Ireland) and WiFi on the right (when it says "Cubic" in the middle, it means that the phone is registered as a handset on the Cubic Telecom network via a WiFi connection).
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176886.jpg
17 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
When getting ready to make a a call, you dial the number and select the "Options" button in order to pull up a choice to place the call over GSM (SIM) or WiFi. Calling via WiFi to anywhere in the world is 1 cent per minute for all outbound calls and free when receiving calls.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176887.jpg
18 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
To place a call using the WiFi hotspot, you pick "Call via WLAN"
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176890.jpg
19 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
After choosing WLAN, you briefly get a "Requesting" status screen.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.
176889.jpg
20 of 20 David Berlind/ZDNet
Once the call is in progress, you'll see a small "W" indicating that the call was placed over the WiFi connection instead of the SIM (or GSM) connection.
For David Berlind's write-up on MaxRoam, see his post in ZDNet's TestBed blog.

Related Galleries

First look: 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro
It's here!

Related Galleries

First look: 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro

Apple Watch Series 7: Unboxing and first impressions
Hello QWERTY keyboard

Related Galleries

Apple Watch Series 7: Unboxing and first impressions

First look at the YubiKey Bio
YubiKey Bio

Related Galleries

First look at the YubiKey Bio

Anker 20W Nano Pro charger (Anker 511 Charger)
Anker Nano Pro

Related Galleries

Anker 20W Nano Pro charger (Anker 511 Charger)

First Look: New Surface PCs include Android-based Duo 2 [in pictures]
thumbnail-72371d1d9eb043bcb3986b87c5b47dc7.jpg

Related Galleries

First Look: New Surface PCs include Android-based Duo 2 [in pictures]

Next-generation Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle Paperwhite Kids

Related Galleries

Next-generation Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]
california-streaming-2.jpg

Related Galleries

First look: iPhone 13 Apple event [in pictures]