Nevermind Mobile Web 2.0, you've got to admire Irishman Pat Phelan's 2 recent mobile services: AllFreeCalls.net and now Roam4Free. The former is a complicated workaround that makes it possible for USA residents to call an Iowa-based phone number and from there make free international calls. Unfortunately I can't take advantage of this, as I'm not a US resident. But it's a brilliant workaround, even if the way it was set up is difficult to comprehend. I loved Mike Arrington's conclusion: "If anyone has read Catch 22 - this makes about as much sense as Milo’s scheme where he bought eggs for 7 cents and sold them at a profit for 5 cents." One of my all-time favorite books -- hmmm, perhaps we can call this Mobile 22? :-)
Not content with AllFreeCalls.net, Pat Phelan has now come up with another mobile Web hack. This one is called Roam4Free and it enables travelers to buy cheap roaming access on their mobile phones. This is done via the purchase of a Roam4Free SIM card, which enables users to receive calls for free in over 65 countries and make calls for "up to 90% discount on standard mobile rates". You can use this in over 115 countries, claims the website. What's more, it works "on most mobile phones and virtually any network across the globe." A Roam4free SIM costs €20, which includes €5 of calling credit.
The one thing Roam4Free appears to lack currently is a US connection, but according to Shel Israel "Pat vows that the service will expand to include the US and other countries over the next few months."
I wonder what is next on Pat's To Do list - breaking down the walled gardens of Telco Mobile Web content perhaps? :-) Via Web 2.0 Ireland.