ONE OF THE UNFORTUNATE by-products of a trip through Europe is data shock, the sensation illustrated at left. You can get data shock when you use your cell phone to call people when you are traveling in Europe. You can avoid that problem by getting MAXRoam for your unlocked mobile phone. MAXroam makes your phone think it's still back at home. MAXroam also makes your phone think it's a landline in the city you're visiting. It's rather remarkable because it works just like you'd expect when signing up for an account. Over on the MAXroam website, you set up an initial account for €29.99. That gets you a SIM sent to your postal address along with €5 of initial calling credit. From my personal experience, this is around one-third the price of comparable products that try to do the same thing. I signed up for a SIM and when it arrived at my home, it thought it was both a US and an Irish phone number. Then I went to the MAXroam website where I added a few more numbers, based on where I was traveling. So when I landed in France, the phone thought it was a Parisian number and when at Reboot in Copenhagen, the phone thought it was a Danish number. That meant I could ring ahead to people I was meeting, give them the number and when we were in the same city, they were calling local numbers to ring my phone. (These services were part of the Roam4Free package that preceded the bigger MAXroam offers.) If I miss the call, MAXroam sends me a text message about the missed call and also lets me know if there's a voicemail waiting for me.
My brother and his family will travel to Ireland within a few months, so I'm setting him up with a stateside number that gives him free call forwarding to my home in Ireland. That way, his data centre will think he is still up the street ready to jump into his car to put out fires.