It’s amazing that we can use a private company to put satellites into space, yet international roaming with a smartphone, tablet or laptop is still such a hassle. I thought about this recently as some friends are planning to travel abroad this holiday season and they asked me what their options are. There’s a number of choices but a recent one popped up on my radar: GigSky, a global SIM card that provides hassle-free roaming in 70 countries.
Rates may not be the lowest with GigSky — the cheapest appears to be around $0.10 a megabyte — but the idea here is to remove the hassle. There’s no need to choose a 3G or 4G network and buy a SIM card for it at every new destination: Just buy one SIM for $19.95, pop it in your device and hit the road.
GigSky automatically provisions the SIM for the appropriate networks and provides 10 MB for free each time you visit a new country. The company also sells an unlocked mobile hotspot with a SIM card included for $199 and offers an app for Android or iOS to manage and pay for service.
Although the service is data only, it could actually be useful for VoIP, removing yet another travelling hassle: Different phone numbers for every country you visit. Pop this SIM in your phone or tablet and call home or have the family reach you on Skype, for example.
I may have an international trip coming up in the next few months so I’ll see if I can take GigSky for a spin. Were I a T-Mobile customer, I’d have free roaming already, but the big difference is, that would only get me 2G speeds. I’m willing to pay something for faster broadband when away from home and I’d rather not pay AT&T $30 for a measly 120 MB of international data.