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Many months ago, a Canadian company announced that they had a gizmo that would cut your roaming charges (both voice and data) by between 80% and 90%.  Granted since then the big boys (Bell/Rogers etc) were forced to be more reasonable, mainly because they were concerned that ATT was about to come in and add real competition.

Anyway, the Knowroaming system rates are higher than owning a "local" phone, but then when you travel you don't want to have number of sim cards where you remembered to pay you monthly bill (it can add up).  Well the Knowroaming device arrived a few days ago, just in time for a week of finance conference in Mexico City, where being reached in real time is essential.  There's a physical part (which is a sticker you install on your sim card), and software that is installed on your phone.

Now my potential Mexican clients have a local number to call, all my current client can call me on my usual number and I have relatively inexpensive data in Mexico -- 30c a MB which is about three times what the locals pay.  I also have a US and a UK number and can acquire other country number for a reasonable fee.

So I installed this little device and off to the races with the software installation!

The installation  process was less than intuitive, especially since some things can only be done on the road, and I got up this morning to catch my flight at 4:30 AM... its been a long day.  Turns out there's an complex (but elegant) way of installing the software and a quick and "nerd" way -- frankly, the nerd way is easier.  But now I'm at the race.  and my phone works.

I think I am one of the first one to have this device installed, they shipped it priority when I said I was leaving for a week in mid March (started shipping at the very end of February).  This is really a breakthrough, also because all my usage is pre-paid no insane phone bills in a few weeks when I get back home.  I've loaded $50 for the week, the guys say that with reasonable data usage and limited international calling (by me) it should be more than enough.

A game changer.  Check them out

P.S.  The Knowroaming system is now in its second day on the road, last night I was able to check my emails (not on wifi) and make some calls (ok so I am lying there a bit).  But bottom line since I've pre-paid a $50 credit, and I've only used up $2.00 I feel safe with the idea that I will not have a huge bill.


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