If you value your privacy on mobile devices, Roam Mobility has a product called Ready SIM for you. The Vancouver, Canada-based company has launched a new data-only plan that enables people to use the mobile Internet via a 4G data network without revealing their identity.
Ready SIM has built a system that protects your anonymity. Yeah, drug dealers, cheating spouses, mobsters, and all sorts of crooks will love this. But so will people who, in light of the National Security Agency’s recent spying scandal, just don’t want to be tracked. Travelers who want to get Internet access on the run without incurring roaming charges may also want to use it.
Here’s how it works: You buy a self-activating Ready SIM card for an unlocked smartphone, tablets, or hotspot. You insert that Ready SIM card into a GSM-compatible device, such as those that connect to T-Mobile’s network. You can send a text message with your ZIP code to activate the plan. You don’t have to register or reveal any personal information. The SIM activates immediately, and Ready SIM uses the ZIP to assign you a phone number with a local area code.
Each Ready SIM already comes preloaded with a plan, such as talk or text only. You can get talk, text, and data, and use the phone for up to 30 days. Once you activate the card, a timer runs down to the end date. Then the SIM will be deactivated and the number will be recycled. The company’s web site will find a Ready SIM dealer near you. Now, for the first time, the company is also offering a data-only version.
“Before Ready SIM, travelers were trapped between expensive roaming charges or local prepaid services that were frustrating to find, difficult to sign up for, and also limiting because they forced users to pay for a SIM card along with ‘per megabyte’ rates,” said Emir Aboulhosn, the founder and senior vice president of business development of Roam Mobility. “Ready SIM’s data-only plan is all about letting travelers and others have access to generous buckets of data at very low rates. It’s the first option that allows people to enable just wireless data on their device without signing up for a plan and sharing a name, address, email or any other information. The do-it-yourself activation process is a huge time saver.”
The Ready SIM cards rely on a secure proxy service that only shares an Internet protocol address and the length of each data session with the service provider. Ready SIM cards also support device tethering so a smartphone or tablet may be used as a mobile hotspot to connect a laptop or other device. The plan charges $15 for 500MBs for 14 days, $25 for 1GB for 14 days, or $40 for 2GB for 30 days.
Roam Mobility runs its own private Access Point Name, a proxy service so it can’t see what you are doing on the mobile device. If it gets subpoena, the company will comply with it. But it doesn’t have much data to offer to authorities who might want it.
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the six biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.