KnowRoaming stickers cling to your SIM, aim to kill roaming charges

weknowroamingA new crowdfunding project is aiming to reduce mobile roaming costs and allow you to take advantage of local networks when you’re travelling, simply by attaching a sticker to your SIM card.

While you’re at home, the KnowRoaming sticker remains discreetly dormant, but automatically and seamlessly switches to a local provider on your arrival in a new country. This means that instead of paying international rates, you’ll pay local rates, which can reduce roaming costs by up to 85 percent.

If you have friends, family or business contacts in the country you’re travelling in, you can also purchase a local number that will allow them to call you as if you were a local. The sticker stores prepaid credit that can be used in around 220 countries and never expires.

The KnowRoaming team is attempting to crowdfund the project and hopes to hit a target $35,000 (£21,600) over the next 45 days. The campaign launched today and has already raised $5,065 (£3,130), so things are looking good. SIM stickers start at $49 (£30) including postage to the UK from Canada and backers will receive their KnowRoaming stickers in February 2014.

“If you’re somebody who needs to be connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week and receive your local calls, and have the option of having local numbers in the countries you travel to, this is the product for you,” says Matthew Stein, KnowRoaming CTO and co-founder, in a promotional video.

The sticker works alongside an iPhone or Android app that allows you to monitor your usage in real time, check rates beforehand, view your history and top up from abroad. Another handy feature allows you to connect it to your contacts, so that you won’t miss any of your incoming calls, and when you make outgoing calls they will appear as if from your home number.

While the KnowRoaming app is iOS and Android only, the sticker actually works with any phone, including older feature phones. It will also work with UK SIM cards, but your phone will need to be unlocked to be able to use it, so you check with your operator to find out whether you can unlock your handset before you order one. In order that you attach your SIM sticker correctly, it comes with an applicator tool into which you can insert your SIM card to ensure precise placement.

Of course the EU is set to abolish roaming charges in Europe altogether by July 2014, but if you frequently travel further afield to a variety of destinations, KnowRoaming could provide an interesting option for you, allowing you to use multiple numbers on one phone without having to swap SIM cards or own a dual-SIM handset.

[Source: Katie Collins @ Wired UK]

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