WhatsApp seems to be in the news at the moment, firstly for the wrong reasons, and then for a good one. Well, if that was good, this is better. What if I told you that soon enough, you’ll be able to use WhatsApp just about anywhere, around the world, for free (after a one-off fee)?
Sure, if you’ve got a smartphone with an existing mobile service, this might not mean much to you. What if you’re travelling around the world on a tight budget and not planning on having a mobile? What if you’re in a developing country where mobile services are prohibitively expensive?
WhatSIMcould well be the answer. WhatSIM is a service model similar to early Kindle 3G devices, which had a SIM built in and offered worldwide, free access to Amazon’s service and book downloads (of course the books aren’t free, but hey).
WhatSIM is the same concept. You buy the SIM for €10 (or about $14.30 AUD), and get access to WhatsApp (and only WhatsApp) on whatever phone has the SIM in it through over 400 operators in 150 countries. There’s no monthly fee, no annual fee, and better yet, no expiry.
How does all this work? Let’s let WhatsApp tell us:
Anywhere in the world it connects to the provider with the best coverage and signal right where you are. If you change your position, it automatically searches for a new provider. If a better one is available, it connects by itself without you even noticing it.
Everyone now uses WhatsApp, even when traveling. But you need a data or Wi-Fi connection to chat for free. The most common problem is that the roaming data connection is usually expensive and Wi-Fi is not available everywhere and often it is not even free.
WhatSim allows you to chat with WhatsApp whenever you want.
While this is likely to be a big thing outside major developed countries like Australia, it could have its uses here too. If you’re heading off on an around-the-world trip, and planning on doing it on a shoestring budget, for $15, you could stay in touch with family and friends with just your mobile, using WhatsApp for free wherever you go. No need to find WiFi points, no need to buy local mobile services.
Of course, for many this won’t really be enough, but for some, it will be a real lifesaver.
What are your thoughts? What services would you like to see offer a similar product? FacebookSIM? TwitterSIM? Google Hangouts SIM?