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New PDA roaming service

PDA-Roaming is a new service which offers international dial-up roaming for users of PDAs, laptops and handheld computers. The service uses the iPass network of over 14,000 ISPs in 150 countries to let you connect to an ISP for only the cost of a local call, no matter where you are.

What makes this service different is 1) it has been created specifically for individual consumers rather than corporate use 2) sign up looks to be a relatively painless online process and 3) the company has taken a leaf out of the cheap telco market here in the UK and offers its service on a credit card top up basis. This means that you start with a minimum float of $100.00 billed to your credit card, which decreases as you use the service. Once it reaches 35% of the start amount (e.g. $35.00 of a $100.00 float) the credit card is topped up again.

Rates are 0.25c per minute per call (plus of course the cost of the local telephone call to the ISP, which is often free from the big hotel chains) and the service will charge a $5.00 membership/administrative fee each month that the service is used (but nothing in the months in which it is not). This kind of payment system seems eminently fair to me, and really could end up being a boon for business travellers who can easily rack up $200.00 a night in online charges from some of the rip off hotels out there in corporate land.

The final bonus is that the service is offered for all of the common PDAs including Palm, PocketPC and HPCs. Even Macs are catered for!

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