International mobile broadband provider Voiamo announced a suite of low-cost mobile data plans designed to help business travelers reduce roaming costs when accessing mobile broadband across international networks.
With an 18-month contract, users get Globalgig WiFi hotspot service for free, while customers without a contract pay $119 a month. The company offers four mobile data plans, starting with a 1 gigabyte-per-month plan that costs $17 per month with or without a contract. The 2GB plan costs $25 a month, the 5GB plan costs $45 per month and the 10GB per month plan costs $80 per month.
The service allows up to five devices to be connected simultaneously at high speed to any single Globalgig Hotspot by switching it on and accessing the Internet. In the United States, Globalgig customers can access secure Internet speeds using the mobile hotspot device powered by Sprint's wireless network. Users can also choose their own encrypted password for secure access.
The company said there are no hidden charges, and users can cancel or make changes to their plan by providing notice up to 48 hours prior to the end of their billing cycle. For customers preferring a shorter monthly contract, the Globalgig WiFi hotspot is on special promotion for $99.
The company also announced it is expanding its international network geographic coverage to include Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Hong Kong, in addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The service also allows users to receive alerts when they've used 50 percent, 85 percent and 100 percent of their monthly data allowance.
"Globalgig is dedicated to offering travelers an easier and more affordable alternative to stay connected while moving between countries. That's why we are expanding our service throughout the world and have made our rates among the best in the US— so you get the benefits of using it even when you're not traveling overseas," Voiamo CEO Nigel Bramwell said in a statement. "Just to give you a sense of perspective, some American cell phone providers charge as much as $50 per GB in the U.S. alone. Using that data internationally can raise rates astonishingly high, in some cases totaling thousands of dollars. We are charging $17 for the same amount to enable mobile users to be online in a secure and productive fashion."
A hotel business and technology research survey on mobile device habits of business travelers, commissioned by Four Points by Sheraton in August 2012, shows a growing demand for international connectivity to smartphones and tablet computers. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of business travelers said they bring their smartphones on their trips, while 65 percent carry along tablets.
Checking email (90 percent), along with Internet browsing and social networking (75 percent) ranked as the primary uses of these devices during travel. The survey also found nearly seven in 10 respondents (68 percent) use their tablets more often than their laptops, and a similar number (69 percent), if told they could take only one of the two on the road, said they would choose to travel with their tablets.