If you’re part of the WhatApp generation and the Facebook-owned messaging service is your chat vehicle of choice, you could stand to bag yourself a serious bargain.
Italian mobile service provider ZeroMobile has launched the WhatSim, a SIM card which costs just €10 and allows you to send messages on WhatsApp for free in 150 countries for a whole year.
But before you get too excited, the WhatSim offer sadly only extends to basic text messages; picture, video and voice messaging costs an extra premium, which varies depending on your location.
WhatsApp is free to download and use (although will cost you 65p per year after the first twelve months), and the WhatSIM costs just €10 per year. So basically, you could get a whole year’s worth of messaging, without committing to some pesky monthly contract, for less than the cost of a round of drinks.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo! employees and was sold to Facebook in early 2014 for a mind-boggling $19 billion. The app is the most popular messaging service on the planet, surpassing 700 million users at the beginning of 2015, so it’s no surprise that ZeroMobile want to get in on the action.
We’re not sure how popular the WhatSim will be or whether it will end up taking off in the UK, but there’s clearly potential for this to be huge, especially with parents who want to allow their kids a mode of communication without the worry of them running up enormous bills. It seems now more than ever that for the younger generation, voice calls and SMS are of much less importance.
It’s unclear whether the WhatSim would work in a dual-SIM device, to allow users to at least have the option to make voice calls if they need to (although we’d assume so). Nor is it obvious whether the WhatSim deal allows calls to emergency services if used autonomously. But the potential for being able to use your device (almost) anywhere in the world makes it a relatively attractive proposition.
For more information and a breakdown of rates by country, head over to the WhatSim site.