A stealth startup from Oulu, Finland has been reported by The Finnish National Broadcasting Company (YLE) to be working on a device called Goodspeed. Uros Oy is the company behind this mobile phone sized device that would make data roaming costs obsolete. Today one of the biggest obstacles to using services overseas are the ridiculous roaming costs operators charge users.
In July 2010 the European Union announced regulation that would force operators to limit charges to consumers from data roaming costs. The default monthly cut-off point would be €50, unless the consumer has chosen another cut-off point enabled by the operator. Operators also need to send a warning to the consumer when 80% of that sum has been reached.
Has this change by the EU made users more open towards using data services overseas? Yes and no. While it's more transparent to use these services the usage figures are still far from those in the home networks.
The Goodspeed device the Oulu-based startup is working on has a solution to all this. According to the article by YLE, the device will create a wireless network around it, a hotspot, that users are able to connect to. As for the payment, the founders of the company hint towards a dramatically lower monthly fee.
The device has a strong battery that is able to supply an uncapped data plan to its users. According to the company, their solution is unique on a global scale.
The device and the service accompanying it, has been tested in about ten countries in Europe. The area it works in will be doubled by the end of the year. Despite being tested in Europe, the device will work globally.
Jyrki Hallikainen and Tommi Uhari are the two people named behind the startup. They are Nokia alumni and have invested millions into the company so far. They did not want to disclose exact figures, but hinted at employing tens of people to give guidance on how serious they are with this.
The problem with the exorbitant data roaming costs is common and can be shared by many. The biggest challenge in coming out with something like Goodspeed is in the service side of the device. How much will the company be charging for it? Will I have to pay for it monthly even though I'm not traveling?
These are the questions we're hoping to get answers to in the coming months. Uros Oy states on their website that the solution would be available at the end of the summer. We reached out to the company, but they did not get back to us for comments.