The PhoneBoy Blog


Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

Inbox Liquidation, Part 56: A Mobile Phone Bonanza!

My personal inbox is getting bigger than my work inbox, so it must be time for an Inbox Liquidation Post.

Truph0ne News: Having made use of Truphone Local Anywhere on my last trip abroad, I’m certainly interested in seeing it expand to other markets. They recently announced planned expansions of their “local markets” to The Netherlands and Spain (i.e. markets where you can get “local” numbers and pay “local” rates). Unfortunately, it’s not immediately, it’s “months.” On a more positive note, their iPhone app now supports iPhone OS 4.0 multitasking, so you can receive Truphone calls on your iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 while running other apps.

iOS4 (or rather iPhone OS 4): I’ve actually been playing with iPhone OS 4.0 for the past few months. I had the “golden master” release on my phone for nearly two weeks now and I’ve been fairly happy with it. Unfortunately, to take advantage of the multitasking feature, your apps need to be updated to support it. Why Skype did not launch their updated app the day iOS 4 became generally available, I’ll never know. My prediction: we won’t see it until after my kids get back into school in September.

Tomi Ahonen Takes on the US Wireless Industry: I am reminded of what my tour guide in Jerusalem told us: never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Former Nokia executive Tomi Ahonen gets a couple of facts wrong in this epic rant about the state of the US mobile phone industry, but most of what he has to say is spot on.

Unlimited Mobile Data in 25 Countries: I’ve gotten a couple of press releases from XCom Global about their offering where they will rent you either a wireless USB modem or a MiFi like device on a per-day basis. The pricing is pretty good, given what I paid for WiFi in Europe. Unfortunately, it only works if you’re traveling to one country. Wonder how they’d handle that situation?

MAXroam Goes Global: I had a press release in my inbox about MAXroam’s special plan for people going to the World Cup. I figured it might be a bit dated by now, so I went to see if it was still being offered. To my surprise, their website had changed and they have launched their “Global SIM” cards. This was the “Holy Grail” SIM card I used on my last International trip :) . You can buy reasonably-priced bundles of minutes and/or megabytes of data to use in 41 European countries. These SIMs “just work” without the usual trickery involved with global SIMs.

Positioning Without GPS or WLAN: I like the idea of not having to fire up the GPS or WLAN to get location. The mobile phone is already talking to multiple cell phone towers and it is possible to use the information from those towers to triangulate your location. It may not get as pinpoint as a GPS can, but it can certainly get close enough (does 7-12 meters work–indoors no less?) where a regular GPS can’t easily. I really hope GloPos and the technology they are building around this gets some traction because it sounds like the right idea for a lot of reasons.


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Parent, Writer, Podcaster, Coffee Achiever, VoIP/Telco Curious, C-List Information Security Celebrity, and Mobile Phone Connoisseur residing in Gig Harbor WA US. Sometimes NSFW, always a 49ers fan.