Toggle mobile, a subsidiary of Lycamobile (News - Alert), wants to change the way that international travelers deal with roaming charges. Instead of putting in a new SIM card every time they reach a new destination, travelers can use one SIM card and tie the card to multiple local numbers.
Customers who sign up with toggle will have a permanent U.K. telephone number assigned to them. They will then have the option to add a selection of local numbers to cover the areas through which they plan to travel. Each number lasts for 30 days, or those with plans to stay overseas longer can actually purchase the numbers for a small fee.
Participating countries include the U.K., the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany. France and Poland will be on board by the end of April. Toggle expects to incorporate the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Portugal by the end of 2012.
When toggle users travel to the new country, the phone number will automatically switch to the local number that toggle has provided for them.
Users who receive free incoming calls to their toggle numbers will save up to 90 percent on roaming charges, according to Lycamobile. Local calling network tariffs include nine pence for SMS and 15 pence per megabyte for downloading data. Mobile network calls will cost 15 pence per minute.
Toggle won an “Innovative Service” award at this year’s Mobile News Awards. Over the past five years, Lycamobile has helped eight million people across 14 countries to make affordable international calls.
Toggle isn’t the only entity to offer affordable mobile calling overseas. Cloud Roam out of Coventry, England, provides a roaming GSM phone in conjunction with VoIP technology. The GSM service works in over 200 countries without requiring the use of calling cards. Unnecto is another company that provides unlocked GSM phones.
Lycamobile recently ran a promotion in the U.K. that allowed users to make free phone calls from Lycamobile phone to Lycamobile phone. The company also allowed users to receive incoming roaming calls for 11 pence per call.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin