KnowRoaming, the company behind the roaming SIM “stickers” that popped up on Kickstarter last year, has begun shipping its device to the first 500 backers. The $35 pre-order kit, which includes a SIM sticker and a single-use applicator, enables international roaming at rates far lower than what you’d normally get with your carrier (unless, of course, you’re using a Simple Choice plan with free global data from T-Mobile). What makes KnowRoaming unique, however, is a design that integrates with your existing SIM.
Once you attach the sticker to your carrier-issued card, your unlocked smartphone will detect when you’ve traveled abroad, switching your device over to a partner network. Current rates range from 13 cents per MB of data, 9 cents per minute of talk time and 16 cents per text in the UK, to a whopping $34.80 per MB, 27 cents per minute and $1.07 per SMS in Chad (though most countries offer tariffs at the cheaper end of the spectrum). CEO Gregory Gundelfinger plans to ship between 25 and 50 sets each day, so if your sticker isn’t in this initial batch, you can expect to have it at your door soon.
Update: KnowRoaming is currently in beta, and while data may work all the time, you should expect to experience some hiccups. If you absolutely need to be connected during your travels, we’d recommend using a service like Keepgo, which we’ve found to be both affordable and reliable, especially if you plan to consume large amounts of data.