When we checked in with KnowRoaming in October, the company was in the midst of a media bombardment. Its millimetre-thick SIM sticker was widely considered one of the more interesting disruptors in the mobile space, despite being months away from an actual ship date.
Since then, the company has not only revised many of its pricing deals with foreign carriers, but the shipping product, from the mobile apps to the SIM applicator, bears little resemblance to those early prototypes.
What hasn’t changed, however, is the product itself. KnowRoaming’s sticker affixes to the bottom of your SIM card, and when inserted into an unlocked phone allows you to bypass your traditional carrier’s often-expensive roaming deals; instead, when entering a new country, the SIM card will connect to a local carrier at rates for voice, text and data far lower than what you’d pay buying a bundle back in Canada.
In order to pull this off, KnowRoaming had to negotiate per-minute or per-MB deals with hundreds of carriers around the world, and guarantees that account balances don’t expire. The accompanying iOS and Android apps let users control everything from call forwarding to buying international numbers — every customer gets a US and UK-based number free of charge — so both incoming and outgoing calls are heavily discounted.
The company is shipping its first stickers today to 500 customers today, and will continue to ramp up production over the coming months. The company’s CEO, Greg Gundelfinger, wrote in a blog post, “We would like to thank all of our customers for their support and patience. Without you, a future without roaming bill shock would not be possible.”