Image 1 of 17
The MaxRoam User's Home Page
When combined with an unlocked GSM phone that’s also WiFi capable, Cubic Telecom’s MaxRoam service shows some promise to dramatically lower the cost of roaming not just for international travelers, but also for those who want to reach him or her.
In addition to getting a SIM card that must be paired with an unlocked phone, MaxRoam users also get access to a Web site that’s essentially a dashboard for controlling their phone.
Through the Web site, you can pre-pay minutes for your SIM (TopUp), buy additional phone numbers that will ring through to your phone (over WiFi and/or the cell network), manage existing numbers, and forward any of the numbers under your control to another number (eg: a landline or another cell phone — perhaps a CDMA-based one when you’re in the States).
One SIM. Multiple Numbers. Multiple Countries.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, users of MaxROAM SIMs can assign as many as 50 separate phone numbers to their MaxRoam SIM from as many as 28 countries simultaneously (MaxRoam on the whole can offer you numbers from 160 different countries, but only 28 of them simultaneously).
Through the Buy another number menu item on the left hand side of the screen, MaxRoam users are offered the opportunity to buy a new number from any one of the supported countries for an average cost of 2 euros per number per month.
If, for example, you buy a number for France, it will greatly reduce the inbound roaming charges to you when people from France call that number (while saving them the cost associated with making international calls).
Picking a USA-based number for a phone
When selecting a number to map to a MaxRoam SIM, the user interface is very much like the way Skype works when picking a Skype-In number for mapping inbound plain old telephone system calls to your Skype account. Once you pick a number, anybody who dials that number (anybody who you give that number to) can reach you on your cell phone.
MaxRoam SIMs also support WiFi-based outbound and inbound calling. So, if you buy a WiFi number for your phone and you’re connected to a WiFi network, people can call any of the numbers that are associated to the WiFi radio, and it will ring through to your phone.
MaxRoam numbers can be freely forwarded
Any of the MaxRoam numbers associated with your SIM can be forwarded to another number (eg: a landline) at no forwarding cost. Roaming charges would still apply though… for example, if someone called one of your numbers and it involved some form of roaming. Even then however, the roaming charges are still remarkably less expensive than those you’d typically get with other carriers.
Cubic Telecom/MaxRoam Home Screen w/WiFi Connection
And now, we are back at the phone’s “home screen” where it shows that it has signal strength from two different networks: the GSM signal on the left (note that it says Vodaphone IE in the middle.. that’s the GSM carrier in Ireland) and WiFi on the right (when it says “Cubic” in the middle, it means that the phone is registered as a handset on the Cubic Telecom network via a WiFi connection).
Picking GSM or WiFi for a call
When getting ready to make a a call, you dial the number and select the “Options” button in order to pull up a choice to place the call over GSM (SIM) or WiFi. Calling via WiFi to anywhere in the world is 1 cent per minute for all outbound calls and free when receiving calls.