15 thoughts on “MAXroam: 100,000 & Counting”

  1. I hope he does well with this product. I used his international long distance circumventing products (two iterations) and was happy with them. It’s a shame they were shut down.

    Small typo, sir:

    “Phelan thinks he will get their by selling MAXroam”

  2. Data roaming?! Now I’m interested. Anytime I take my Canadian Blackberry to the US, I get slammed with outrageous data rates. And with the near monopoly situation up here, that’s not likely to change soon. This is a pain lots of other people feel too.

  3. @ Raymond

    Thanks for the correction. I fixed that. I know Pat is going to get this right. He knows what he is doing.


    It might be worth checking out. I have not checked out just yet. Sometime today perhaps.

  4. These are the kind of businesses I would love to hear more about at these conferences (TC50, DEMO). Being in NYC, I know a lot of travelers that would be interested in this. I definitely will check this out.

  5. he might face competition from dual sim phones and pdas, more and more popular for the very same reason like his product. but keep going !!!

  6. I think if MaxRoam.com put their charges in USD, indeed, any user’s local currency on their site, it would be easier for people to weigh up the merits of the service. I think they might also look at reducing the delivery costs and lead times for getting the SIM cards out to you, by perhaps using forwarders or drop-shippers.

    Tying in with travel web sites is a great way to scale things, but I think tying in with conferences that draw an international audience, and corporate travel providers might also be fruitful.

  7. Maxroam is far from the only company selling this type of product. Look at United Mobile, TravelSIM, ekit, SIM4Travel and many more. There is already consolidation in this space CoSpeed bought both Callkey and Callblue this year and Truphone bought SIM4Travel.

    United Mobile raised $15 million earlier this year, so you would expect to see some interesting product improvements, or customer growth out of them. They do data too, with really good rates in Europe from $2.20/MB.

    ekit has its new travel journal which uses the SIM to track your movement and seems to work with FireEagle from Yahoo too.

    MaxRoam’s main differentiator is the big range of local numbers you can attach to the SIM, although having to send text messages to a different number in Israel limits the value of that.

    Like you said Om, it’s a tough gig.

  8. @gary andrews
    Agree its tough out there but United Mobile, TravelSIM, ekit, SIM4Travel are all playing the same tune, Premium numbers attached to a sim
    why would you give your friends a premium UK mobile number, a Lichtenstein mobile number or an Estonian mobile number.
    This is only moving the bill and stiffing your friends to help you save money.
    MAXroam uses traditional fixed line numbers, we also have a number of free call forwards on our back end to help you roam for zero.
    We are working on closing the loop on the Israel sms issue
    We are also the only company to have discounted roaming in the USA, one the worlds largest travel destinations ad to have roaming data on one sim not two different sims.
    Thanks for the post Om

    1. quote: … are all playing the same tune, Premium numbers attached to a sim
      why would you give your friends a premium UK mobile number, a Lichtenstein mobile number or an Estonian mobile number.
      This is only moving the bill and stiffing your friends to help you save money

      Why indeed? And given your history of such comments on termination fees, why switch to a mobile number from the Belgian network Base?

      And how much would it cost to replace 100,000 SIM cards?

      And how long to forward the old DIDs? Or is it difficult to persuade your previous supplier to allow them to be ported?

    2. I forgot to say: the replacement SIM came in a handwritten envelope, with an ordinary stamp stuck on.

      Some people might think that looks odd, even a little amateurish. Would it not be likely to cause repetitive strain injury if carried out 100,000 times?

      Or is Pat Phelan’s claim to have 100,000 customers a load of moonshine? Perhaps the number is nearer the more modest target he set himself in an interview earlier last year.

      Global Roaming Distribution, the joint operation set up by Celtrek and Maxroam, seems to have been folded up, with a share deal rescissed, and 3 directors resigning in January. GRDB’s earlier accounts show that an order for $450,000 worth of SIM cards was not fulfilled.

      Celtrek has changed its outward branding to Global Roaming, and has made adverse comments on the service of its erstwhile suppliers, which Maxroam shared, and which continues to provide for other trade customers.

      Maxroam seem to be having some difficulties transferring the existing credit balance and DID numbers to the new SIM cards, which has so far taken a month or so. Surely it should have relatively easy to back up the call records before the end of the old deal?

      And the new published call tariffs are mostly higher than on the old SIM, and multiples higher in Europe than the Eurotariff the regulators worked so hard for.

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