One of the least-fun things about traveling are the data roaming costs, just because it breaks you out of your old habits. In many places it can be impossible to find Wi-Fi, and I know too little about what my data costs are abroad to consider using maps, check email, or definitely not any video streaming. Consumers don't like paying for roaming, and companies are sick of looking at inflated cellphone bills whenever their employees go abroad.
Oulu, Finland's Uros Ltd believes they have solved this problem with Goodspeed, a smartphone-sized device to enable mobile hotspots. Goodspeed offers 10 SIM card slots for different destination countries, and allows five devices to simultaneously connect, making it a nice solution for work teams or families abroad.
The device is available on Amazon today for £219.00 (€273). To get access to internet abroad, the service charges €9.90 a month unlimited travel in the countries Goodspeed supports. The service also offers destination fees starting at €5.90 a day.
Edit: Tommi Uhari, CEO of Goodspeed clarifies:
There is a monthly fee of 9.90 EUR, which covers the easy to manage account, automatic updates, and improvements and the expanding coverage. It does not yet include data coverage - just wanted to be clear on that.
Data coverage is priced as daily fees for each country you travel to starting from 5.90 EUR / day. All the countries we are now offering (Germany, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Ireland, Finland) have that as the daily price. Of course, if you don't travel, you don't pay.
Right now Goodspeed only supports Finland, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, with more European countries coming soon, and global coverage in the coming years.
"New countries will be included in the autumn, when the necessary operator agreements and tests have been completed. Our goal is to cover the most popular and important destination countries before Christmas", states Jyrki Halttunen, VP, Sales and Marketing, of Uros Ltd in a press release.
Similar hotspot devices have been on the market, but I'm not familiar with any that offer more than one sim-card port like Goodspeed. It's an interesting workaround to the sorry state of data roaming, but I wonder how often people will have to swap out SIM cards once Goodspeed has global coverage. At that pricetag, will it be that much better than picking up your own SIM cards and putting them in a standard wireless hotspot?
Here are the tech specs for anyone interested:
GoodSpeed mobile hotspot
· Size 123 x 63 x 13 mm
· Weight 127 gr
· Slots for 10 SIM-cards
· Works in up to 9 countries at a time
· Maximum data transfer / 1GB per day
· Upload speed 21Mb / per second
· USB powered
· Battery: standby time 1 week, active use 8 hours
Goodspeed online service
· Selection of the required destination countries, SIM-card subscription and usage time purchasing are available in the GoodSpeed online service
· After the registration of the device it is automatically ready for use in those countries, which are connected to the service