|Tiny U.K.-based Tru lets users make complex international cell calls via cheaper local and long-distance.|
This is a surprisingly effective low-cost global roaming tool. I must say, Tru was a surprise. When a demo unit showed up in my New Delhi hotel room I took the Tru SIM card, slid it into an unlocked BlackBerry, pressed a few buttons and the phone found the New Delhi cell network immediately, albeit with its own new Tru number. Voice quality was excellent, and data access was reasonable both in 3G and slower-speed networks. Better yet, in this emerging nation, Tru also managed to find access in more rural areas outside the city with wildly different networks than those found in Delhi. Tru also had a nice mix of support features. Separate local numbers can be added to your phone for the U.K. and Australia, meaning you and in-country contacts will pay only local rates. Tru also offers a downloadable app for smartphones and computers that allows for making Web-based phone calls. Tru also features sophisticated call forwarding and other features. In all, I found Tru to a be a solid global roaming solution that most any business should consider. What you don't get
Pricing was inconsistent -- some markets were actually pricier than other options -- and then there is the headache of having another number. Tru was a reasonable, but far from a perfect, tool. While European and Canadian calling was cheap, calling from countries such as India was not. Per-minute rates for calls from India to the U.S. were $1.71 per minute, lower than what Verizon charges -- but not by much. And for all this money, Tru requires that you manage a second number overseas. Your clients and employees must learn it, which can be tricky. Bottom line
Tru offers global business travelers a new approach to managing their international telephony: a simple modular SIM that can work in any unlocked phone. In my early test, the tool showed promise. Users just need be sure the total rate for the service makes sense and that users are willing to manage the hassle of having a second international roaming number. But at least for now, Tru is a truly interesting idea for global business travelers. >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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