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The selection process for the market's third operator was a spectacle to behold
Last month, we got wind of a SIM card called ‘WhatSim’ that allowed unlimited access to WhatsApp messaging platform from any mobile phone anywhere in the world, even without Wi-Fi access, for one low initial purchase price – but it sounded just too good to be true.
In the last month WhatSim has morphed into ChatSim, and the suppliers claim it is the only multi-platform SIM that lets you chat anywhere, 24 hours a day, with all the messaging systems in the world – QQ, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Skype, Viber, Line, KakaoTalk, Telegram, Snapchat, Twitter, Hangouts, iMessage and all other apps for smartphones and tablets.
It gets hard to sort the PR speak from the facts but the ChatSim blurb we received says “it is designed in particular for people who travel often around the world. ChatSim, with worldwide data connection, lets you finally chat with all instant messaging apps anywhere, any time and without limits.”
“In the light of the huge success and the tens of thousands of requests from every corner of the planet, WhatSim has changed into ChatSim,” explains Manuel Zanella (ChatSim’s 38 year old inventor). “Already a few hours before the official launch, we were receiving requests at a rate of one SIM a minute.” As Zanella stresses, “The demand came straight from users and they were the ones to convince us to expand the compatibility of the SIM card to all messaging systems in the world. At first, I had thought of a SIM to connect WhatsApp even without Wi-Fi, then I decided to listen to all the suggestions that we received by e-mail. So we went from WhatSim to ChatSim, the SIM designed to chat with all apps!” Smart man!
We understand that Manuel Zanella is also the founder and CEO of Zeromobile, “Italy’s global mobile operator in the low cost roaming segment, allowing users to save up 85% on the cost of outgoing calls, incoming calls, text messages and mobile Internet, and to receive free of charge in over 140 countries and call between Zeromobile SIMs at 15 eurocents/min in just as many countries,” and that ChatSim is a Zeromobile product.
Apparently, ChatSim “costs just €10 and – after this initial expense to purchase the SIM – you can chat free of charge and without limits with everyone for a year anywhere in the world. To continue chatting free and with no limits, you will always pay €10 a year. Of course, only if you choose to use it.”
“ChatSim was created because the future of communication is chatting considering the huge amount of users that is constantly growing,” explains Zanella. “When you are traveling from one country to another, you have no problems connecting to the Internet or telephone roaming costs with this card. We have created a flat rate in all countries for ChatSim: automatically and depending on your location, you will be connected to the available and most affordable phone network. With just €10 you have unlimited text messages and emoticons. Since ChatSim is designed especially for those who travel around the world, the only condition required for unlimited messages is to use it in several countries.”
Great, “unlimited text messages and emoticons,” but then the press release states that, “specifically, no single zone must account for more than 60% of total traffic exchanged. Since text messages and emoticons use very few kB compared to a photo or video, using ChatSim is virtually unlimited in many countries, including Italy, Europe and extra-European countries, even if you don’t travel from one country to another. In these countries you can even send up to 25,000 text messages and emoticons since the limit is set at 50 MB.”
Now that should all be perfectly clear, ‘unlimited’ really means ‘virtually unlimited,’ but it doesn’t end there! “To achieve maximum coverage and the best conditions, we have designed two SIMs: ChatSim and ChatSim Plus,” concludes Zanella. “The two SIMs differ in coverage in some countries. This way all you need to do is choose the SIM that covers the countries you are interested in.”
But wait, there’s more – “ChatSim even lets you make voice calls with those apps that allow it. The high-speed connection of Zeromobile’s partners ensures excellent coverage throughout the world. Photos, videos, location sharing, contacts, and in general exchanging multimedia messages: you can do it all with ChatSim. All you need to do is activate them purchasing a recharge of at least €5, which is equal to 1000 credits. For example, with a €5 recharge you get 1000 credits with which you can exchange around 100 photos of about 200 kB in size, or 20 videos lasting about 10 seconds in many countries.”
And just in case you didn’t understand all that, Zanella, explains, “That means that exchanging a 200 kB photo costs about 10 credits, while exchanging a 10-second video costs about 50 credits in many countries around the world. I am very satisfied with the outcome, because, by introducing the two SIMs, we have further improved our original offering. In many countries, including Italy, European and other non-European countries, exchanging a photo initially cost 20 credits and a video 100 credits. Now they cost 10 credits and 50 credits respectively. The rate in these countries is now of 50 credits per MB.”
It would probably be fair to say that after all that, potential customers will either flock to Zanella’s offering, or simply scratch their heads in wonderment at what appears to be a Google translation of the original Italian press release.
One doubts that mobile operators will be shaking in their shoes at the ChatSim threat to their revenues, nor challenging them as the masters of complexity – Zanella even makes them look good in that department!