Originally posted on The Really Mobile Project.
Next week I’m heading over to Amsterdam for BSS Summit 2009. This is a key European billing event and worth attending if you’re involved in billing or payments. I’m speaking about ways for telcos to monetise the delivery of content over their networks.
Anyway, back to mobile! Vodafone’s recent announcement that Passport users will benefit from no roaming charges for voice and SMS on partner networks in June, July and August is great news. This means I can use my Nokia E63 on Vodafone’s Dutch network without incurring any additional charges. I was planning to use my SIM4travel SIM again but won’t need to this trip – I’ll be getting that out again when the Passport promotion has expired!
Unfortunately Vodafone decided not to include data charges in the Passport promotion so any usage will rack up charges at an alarming rate. However the team at Axicom has kindly organised a trial account with iPass which will definitely minimise my 3G bill. iPass is a WiFi connectivity app which has roaming agreements with a large number of WiFi networks and automates the whole process of access. Installing the iPass client creates a new access point which I’ve set as my default access point for handset apps that use data. Now all my apps use my home WiFi or commercial hotspots with a fall-back to 3G when WiFi is not available. When I’m in Amsterdam I’ll probably disable 3G fall-back to minimise the risk of nasty surprises when I get my next Vodafone bill! iPass will be great for web browsing, plus of course Twitter and Truphone. Truphone has always been a great alternative to pricey roaming calls but even with the Passport promotion will still be useful for international calls. The combination of Truphone and iPass could be a killer!
Also key for conferences is my .tel – being able to give new contacts a card with my .tel address on it or just tell them to check my .tel is so simple. It’s a business card in the ‘cloud’ with far more contact data than I could fit on a regular card. Nothing else I’ve found matches it for simplicity. I’ve tried various ID services but they tend to involve sharing data with third party sites, spamming contacts or installing annoying plug-ins; plus you never know how long they’ll be around for.
Let me know if you’re planning to attend BSS Summit and perhaps we can meet up.