For avid mobile phone users, traveling across the globe usually entails buying a new SIM card or paying outrageous roaming fees. Toronto-based startup KnowRoaming is looking to eliminate both scenarios by launching pre-orders for a special adhesive that makes your existing SIM work anywhere for $35.
Engineered for any type of SIM card, the small KnowRoaming sticker allows your mobile device to automatically connect to a local provider when you leave your home country. The sticker comes packaged with a plastic applicator that allows users to easily attach it to an existing SIM card. You'll still receive all calls made to your original number. According to the company, KnowRoaming works in more than 220 countries and will save callers 90 percent of the roaming fees they would normally pay their carrier.
To put KnowRoaming's costs in perspective, let's say you're reaching out from Italy. When it comes to traditional roaming fees, AT&T's international packages for Europe start at $30 for 30 minutes ($1 per minute) and go up to $120 for 200 minutes, for a rate of $0.60 per minutes. Using KnowRoaming would connect you to a local network in Italy, which will only cost around $0.26 a minute according to AT&T's website.
"We looked at why roaming has persisted for so long and why people continue to pay exorbitant fees and decided to dedicate ourselves to developing a seamless and convenient solution to these problems," said KnowRoaming CEO Gregory Gundelfinger.
Users will be able to manage their KnowRoaming usage with a free companion app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Callers can use the software to view their phone usage, compare local pricing to that of their home carrier, and add funds to their account.
KnowRoaming is crowdfunding its product starting today, with an overall goal of $35,000 during a 45 day window. A single sticker will cost $35, while a two-sticker couples package and five-sticker family package are available for $70 and $150, respectively. KnowRoaming is also offering a $2,800 large business package, which includes 100 stickers.
The first 500 pre-ordered KnowRoaming stickers will ship in early December, while the rest are slated to arrive Feb. 2014. BlackBerry stickers will come later in April.