Truphone offers roaming at local call rates

In a week dominated by smartphones and high-speed data, wireless voice firm Truphone has captured attention at Barcelona with the simplest offer of all: roaming calls at local cost.

It is signing up operators worldwide to enable it to deliver local-priced calls off a single SIM card.

Truphone, which currently offers a cellphone VoIP client, said it would announce carrier partners and operational markets later this year.

It expects to offer the service in the third quarter, a spokesperson said.

"Truphone said Local Anywhere is a single-SIM, multi-country mobile service that will make any mobile call within the set of supported countries into a local call," CEO Geraldine Wilson said.

The service will eliminate "the need to maintain separate phones, switch between multiple SIMs or incur expensive roaming charges," she said.

Truphone says it offers number portability for existing mobile and landline numbers, multi-language customer support and "virtual" country mobile numbers to allow users to receive calls at local rates.

Truphone said it was seeking operators and retailer partners to expand the business.

It identifies expatriate workers, international businesspeople, travel industry workers and international students as the most likely customer segments.

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