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back to article Irish firm launches 'global' mobile phone

Irish start-up firm Cubic Telecom has launched what it claims is the first "truly global" mobile phone at a major industry exhibition in California. The Cubic Mobile phone was launched Monday at the prestigious TechCrunch 40 trade show in San Francisco, where Cubic was the only Irish exhibitor of the 40 companies in attendance …

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Data roaming rant

Cheap calls are old hat. We have cheap flights, now we need cheap roaming data.

Vodafone (the only 3G network worth bothering with in Ireland, and still piss poor) has finally introduced affordable-ish data roaming rates with the Connect Abroad package, as I discovered accidentally from its website (not like they'd tell me, I'm only a business customer).

But, like everything the mobile data industry produces, 3G data is still fubar'd by shitty pricing, policies and devices.

Connect Abroad has a 50 MB per day limit (for €12), or 100MB if I pay €75 (!!!) per month). 100MB in a month - am I supposed to surf the web using telnet?

Voda IE have withdrawn the PCMCIA card, forcing us to use the crappy-flappy USB dongle (try retrieving that from your fellow train passenger's lap without getting slapped).

So, I think, "why not use a 3G phone as a bluetooth modem" - that way the device stays in my trousers where it won't upset anybody or wear out my USB ports. But no, the 3G data pricing plans don't apply to this mode of use - if I use my phone this way I am back to per-MB pricing. WTF!

Oh, unless I have a 3G Blackberry, in which case I get unlimited data. On the device. But as a modem? And abroad? Who knows. And if I'm fed up with my BB, and I want to try Windows Mobile, I'm SOL on pricing, and the only Windows Mobile phone offered by Voda IE is a Palm Treo.

FFS, all I want is a choice of any 3G phone on the market, with bluetooth modem capability, push e-mail, an SSH client and humane pricing wherever I am in Europe (or at least UK/Ireland).

Having spent billions on licenses (and possibly because of this), is really beyond the wit of man to develop, package and price this stuff so it's usable?

If there is a vengeful god, I hope he as a file on these asshats.

John

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Anonymous Coward

Truly "Truly Global"?

If it uses old 2G GSM then you'll be stuck with Wi-Fi only in Japan and South Korea. It's only with their 3G networks they decided to adopt the same standards as the rest of the world.

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@ John

"If there is a vengeful god, I hope he as a file on these asshats."

A really, really big one. And a rock, too.

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Silver badge

Is dual-band really global?

I understood you needed quad-band to be truly global - is that not right?

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Dual-band

You are right you'd want a quad band phone to be even remotely global. Perhaps they meant dual-mode, i.e. GSM/wifi with the GSM portion being quad-band.

This product is a non-event. It's really just a reasonable SIM card.

From the headline I was hoping for a GSM/CDMA/PDC/wifi device with satellite capabilities in as a last resort. Something truly global which would select the lowest priced option at any moment.

Then I hoped to see that their next device would be GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA/CDMA2000/EVDO/wifi/satellite, and would offer cheap highspeed data anywhere on the planet....

Ah well.

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@John Mark 2

At least they allow you to use the bluetooth modem at all. I went in to three, and they laughed me when I asked if it's possible - they disable modem access entirely, it's the dongle or nothing. Not much bloody use when my PDA doesn't support USB.

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What is actually new about this?

There have been global roaming SIM cards with free incoming calls available for about 3 years now.

Last June, the blog fans of this firm were predicting almost free mobile to mobile calls anywhere. In January, they at last managed to launch resale of one of the global SIMs, the one with an Estonian number.

It will be interesting to see what roaming deal this SIM is based on, and what might be the the incoming charges that allow for call diversion of the given landline DID to the perhaps hidden SIM number.

Did anyone tell their web designer about the timing of this launch? The site has been reduced to a holding page; there was a fair amount of detail in there a couple of days ago, although a total absence of any tariffs ...

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Anonymous Coward

bands and standards

Yes, I agree Jonathan Fitt, dual meaning GSM and wi-fi.

3G is also almost a global standard, but as usual the USA wanted to be different and so chose 1900MHz instead of 2100MHz...even though apparently the latter is not assigned at present.

Comment for Feargal - have you actually tried to see if your phone works as a modem via bluetooth?

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