Friday, September 21, 2007

What really matters for a mobile phone?

Lets talks about what actually matters here, how much is it going to cost me to make a call or send a text message from my mobile phone?

Cubic Telecom (via The Register) launched their service at at TechCrunch 40 a few days ago...

Interestingly perhaps their website, which had a lot of information about the service including detailed pricing plans, has disappeared behind a sign saying "Coming soon..." since I first looked at it, although of course the Google cache of their site still gets you backstage behind the curtain.

What they're doing is really interesting, forget their hardware, it isn't fancy. But because it isn't really the point. They're going to make international roaming much, much, cheaper by establishing MVNO agreements with local operators. In other words where ever you are in the world you're making a local call. Their phones also offer PBX functionality, allowing you to have up to 50 local phone numbers assigned to your handset. Which presumably will then ring anywhere in the world. Finally, they're also offering VoIP via in-built WiFi directly from the handset.

For most of you this probably not a big deal, but for guys like me who spend half their lives in airports and who regularly run up phone bills that would finance the debt of several small African countries, all I can say is "...what took you guys so long?".

Of course a standard charging connector for mobile phones would probably affect the quality of life of most people far more than anything else the industry could do for us...