Qik, a live video streaming service for cell phone users, has a solution for traveling mobile users who get socked by big bills a month after they get home: Qik Roam.
The prepaid SIM card lets users make voice calls, stream video live, send e-mail, and web browse in 134 countries — with a 60 to 80 percent savings on roaming and data charges.
Qik announced a partnership with Irish communications outfit Cubic Telecom today at its headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. Qik Roam uses Cubic’s flagship product, MAXroam, a SIM card that can be inserted into a GSM phone for lower call rates.
The partnership has caught the attention of potential investors, who were there today, and the support of Ireland’s government. Mary Coughlan, the Irish Tánaiste, or deputy prime minister, made Qik her first stop on a tour of the West Coast to promote Irish businesses. Also on hand were several members of Enterprise Ireland, the country’s leading economic development agency.
The spark for Qik Roam came at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Cubic CEO Pat Phelan rented an apartment and invited the Qik crew to stay with him. “We were a bunch of entrepreneurs trying to save money, you know? And it was a blast,” said Bhaskar Roy, Qik co-founder. Phelan, who was already developing his product platform, shared his work with the Qik team, and “we just thought, this will be so phenomenal for our users,'” Roy said.
Qik Roam SIM cards, sold on the company’s web site, are available in two packages: one for $34, which holds $20 of calling credit, the other for $67.50, which has $54 in calling credit. The service lets you calculate calling rates to various countries here.
You can watch today’s announcement here.