How to avoid cell phone bill of Olympian proportions

If you’re travelling to London during the Olympic Games for business or pleasure, a Buckingham, UK-based firm has a way for you to avoid roaming charges higher than a world-record pole vault.

Podsystem Ltd. is offering a special package for travelers to London during the summer Olympics. Data packages on Three, described as a fast-growing network in London, range from 500 MB to 5 GB in total data transfer. For business travelers visiting multiple locations in Europe beyond London, Podsystem also offers a Multinet Traveler SIM product that works on every European network and costs just five cents per MB.

A SIM card is used in cell phones connected to GSM, HSPA, or LTE networks, which are commonly used in Europe. Typically, a SIM card is linked to one network and a traveler who wants to avoid roaming charges must swap them out of an unlocked phoned. But Podsystem specializes in offering multi-networks SIMs. The catch is, they only offer data service, and not voice.

Podsystem doesn’t sell its SIM cards directly to travelers, but in bulk orders to mobile resellers. It also works with machine-to-machine (M2M ) companies that automate the flow of data for various industrial applications.

For those managing a fleet of mobile phones with the traveler SIMS, Podsystem offers a management platform. It allows firms to bill customers, assign SIMs to a specific customer, view real-time data usage on selected SIMs, and set data limits and create alerts.

With faster, 4G data networks available in Europe, Podsystem says that more travelers will rely on data-only SIMs and use VoIP applications like Skype to place phone calls.

The global mobile workforce will reach 1.3 billion people in 2015, analyst firm IDC estimates, and the need for mobile data will continue to grow due to mobile devices like tablet PCs.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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