These days, when somebody says, “You’ll go far,” in your career, they are probably referring to international travel. In fact, the Global Business Travel Association has predicted that, next year, corporations will increase their international travel spend by 7.7 percent, to $34.3 billion. So it’s nice to hear about a company that is making it easier and less expensive to keep using our domestic computers and phones – the new-age “umbilical cords” that connect us to family, friends, and familiar websites – no matter where we land.
TMCnet Managing Editor Stephanie Mosca sat down with Carl K.S. Teo, president of EcoCarrier, Inc., at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin, Texas, last month, to talk about the two latest product releases from his private, Canada -based company:
- Mobile Broadband on Demand Service (MBBoD), a mobile roaming data and SMS service on a 3G SIM that operates on 182 mobile networks in 103 countries; and
- TopUP360 Gift-to-Call Service, a prepaid PIN-based or PIN-less airtime credit transfer program.
Both products went on to draw attention at the show from attendees and judging panels, alike – taking the “Best Consumer Offering” award as a standout package among all of the leading-edge technology that was exhibited.
Teo described EcoCarrier, founded in 1997, as “a carrier and a telephone-service provisioning company.” He explained that the “Eco” in the firm’s name at first was meant to signify “economical” to customers, and now also connotes “ecological.”
“In light of the products we offer, both definitions make sense,” said Teo. “We provide managed services that eliminate the need to set up a point of presence in every part of the world, because everything is on the Ethernet – Cloud computing – so you can eliminate a lot of expensive and quickly outdated hardware.”
Using the prepaid Mobile Broadband on Demand Service (MBBoD), which operates under the brand MData Service, travelers with 3G mobile devices can surf the Web, interact with a variety of mobile apps, and e-mail—all at an incredibly low price. “Compare the costs between AT&T (News - Alert) and our service,” said Teo. “AT&T costs $22 per megabyte of data transported; we charge 65 cents per megabyte. What’s more, on an ordinary mobile pad, you get one minute of conversation per megabyte; on ours, you get one minute of conversation per 80 kilobytes (1 megabyte = 1,024 kilobytes). That’s a substantial savings.”
MBBoD can be used with the MData SIM as a standalone SIM; as a Dongle pre-installed with it; or as a clear device named MiWiFiLAN, pre-installed. An attractive feature of MiWiFiLAN is the ability to use the 3G phone embedded WiFi (News - Alert)-LAN capability – allowing the user to create their own WiFi LAN through a 3G network without replacing the SIM card.
The second product, the TopUp360 Gift-to-Call Service – an airtime credit transfer service – is “very useful for people who are in an industrialized country and want to make a small gift of $5.00 or $10.00 and send it back home in local currency, directly to a mobile telephone account number,” said Teo, who pointed out, “This way, you can “top up” a person’s account, the same way you would “top off” your car when refueling. From places such as Haiti, Guatemala, and Jamaica, it is less expensive to make a direct call to the United States or Canada than vice versa. The small gift saves everyone money!”
The savings in terms of price differential in the per-minute rate can be as much as 50 percent. The recipient is notified of the gifted credit amount by the mobile operator the instant it arrives – and he/she can use it to call the sender or anyone else.
“There’s no point of sale for the service, and no face-to-face interaction is necessary,” says Teo. “No matter where you are, we make your life easier.”
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Feb. 1-3, 2012 in Miami, Fla. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell