KnowRoaming SIM sticker slashes roaming fees abroad

KnowRoaming opens preorders for a SIM card sticker that connects travelers to local cell networks. But there is a small catch.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
KnowRoaming applicator
The KnowRoaming sticker and applicator. KnowRoaming

International phone-roaming fees can be enough to make you never want to step outside your own home. Sure, you can pick up a local SIM card everywhere you go, but that's an inconvenience. KnowRoaming's new SIM card sticker lets you connect to local networks without having to do a thing.

KnowRoaming is opening up preorders Monday for the $35 sticker. The device attaches to your regular SIM card using a small applicator that comes with it to help with proper placement. You then download the KnowRoaming app and let it automatically hook up with local networks as you go gallivanting about the world.

KnowRoaming has already gone to the trouble of making agreements with wireless carriers in 220 countries. Its advertising promises up to 85 percent off your voice and data costs compared with regular roaming rates.

The app lets you check local rates before you connect. You also have the option of purchasing a local number to make it easier for people in that country to call you.

This sounds like something close to magic, but there is a requirement that will put some people off. Your Android or iOS phone needs to be unlocked for KnowRoaming to work.

KnowRoaming could help reduce the problem of returning home to a massive international phone bill. If you travel a lot, it may be well worth seeking out an unlocked phone, or going through your carrier's unlocking processing if you qualify. The sticker is scheduled to ship in early 2014.

The KnowRoaming sticker wants to reduce roaming sticker shock. KnowRoaming