It’s been a good few weeks for Roam Mobility, the Vancouver-based startup that charges Canadians between around $3 and $8 to enjoy hassle-free cell phone charges during trips to the US.
Last week we reported on the company’s official launch, and today Roam has inked a partnership with Staples Canada where their surcharge-free roaming products for Canadians travelling in the US can be purchased online at Staples.ca and at certain locations in Canada.
“The cost of roaming can be a significant business expense,” said founder Emir Aboulhosn. “Now customers can pick up a phone, hotspot, or SIM card at Staples for fast, inexpensive access to talk, text, and data across the US.”
Launched in January 2012, Roam is a cool little service that offers plans in chunks of one day, three days, seven days or 30 days, for as low as $7.95 for 300mb of data over a three day trip to the US. If users are more inclined to talk and text than surf the Internet on their phones, plans go for as low as $2.95 for one day: that includes unlimited nationwide talk (and free calls to Canada), unlimited international text and free voicemail and caller ID.
For entrepreneurs travelling to San Francisco for a day or two, it seems like a better choice than either paying outrageous roaming charges or simply switching off one’s phone and relying on wifi all the time. Roam Mobility rides off of the T-Mobile Network.
It’s a smart move by Staples too: there’s a great many entrepreneurs out there that would kill for a service like this, especially during important business trips where staying online is crucial. “Staying connected is essential in today’s business world,” said Staples Canada’s Joanna Lennox. “We provide the latest technology that helps our customers gain a business advantage, and we think Roam Mobility’s roaming products are a great fit.”
When we published last week, another focus of BetaKit’s recent attention piped up on Twitter over his love for Roam. Greg Isenberg’s Montreal based video curation startup 5by was recently acquired by San Francisco-based StumbleUpon in late September. Last week upon reading about Roam’s official launch, Isenberg claimed he “rocked Roam hard” during his business travels to the US.
“I used to go the US and I dreaded seeing the Rogers bill at the end of the month. No matter how many ‘travel packs’ I bought, I’d always go over and worst was, I felt I was being taken advantage of by the phone company,” Isenberg told us. “With Roam, I don’t have to worry at all about limiting my communications. For three to four dollars a day, I can talk, text and email (and in my case, stream online videos via 5by), as much as I want.”
To take advantage of Roam Mobility plans, users need to buy the Roam SIM Card, compatible with any unlocked GSM phone, smartphone or tablet sold in Canada. The company also sells two phones, the dual-SIM Breeze travel phone or the Liberty Mobile Hotspot. Roam Mobility products are available at more than 1,000 locations throughout Canada including convenience stores, airports, duty-free stores, electronics retailers and travel stores.