The new SIM, called HopSIM, offers lifetime validity and works in 202 countries. Users can receive free incoming calls in 75 countries and send free SMSs from the hop SIM website.
Yashi Goel, vice president, operations, Indmobile, said, "HopSIM is an international prepaid SIM card which works in over 200 countries over 400 networks and receives incoming calls free in 75+ countries."
Being a lifetime card the SIM aims to offer a permanent mobile number to international travelers. The company also informed that unused talk time of a trip can be used in another trip to any country after any period of time. There is no need of periodic recharge to keep the SIM active.
HopSIM is currently offered in three different packages. The cheapest pack costs $16 with no talk time, followed by a $45 pack with $35 worth of talk time. The costliest is a $100 pack with $100 talk time. Users can buy talk time by recharging for a minimum of $10.
Travelers can buy these SIMs through the company website hopsim.com.
When asked about the targets that the company has set for the product, Somil Gupta, chairman, IndMobile, said, "We aim to get Rs 30 crore revenue in the first year and Rs 150 crore in the third year of operation."
He added, "We will spend Rs 12 crore in advertising and a similar amount on expanding our foot print in the country. We are looking at tie-ups with travel agencies in the country as well as setting up offices in six-seven top metros in the country to sell the SIM."
The SIM also offers free incoming SMS in all the countries. Apart from that, users can also log on to Myhopsim.com to check their usage on a real time basis, and can also send free SMSs from the web site. The company claims that its users will be able to save as much as 85 per cent on calls using HopSIM.
IndMobile said that its subscribers will regularly be intimated about changes in tariffs for all countries.
Goel said, "We will offer special rates to corporates and bulk buyers. For example, if two persons are traveling together, the first SIM you take costs you $16, and the second we will give at $8 only."
HopSIM also offers benefits to frequent fliers of airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, Ukraine Airlines, Thai Airlines, TAP, Oman Air etc.
This launch comes shortly after Airtel announced its World SIM which offers users the convenience of using their Indian number while traveling abroad. A quick comparison showed us that HopSIM is cheaper in most countries. For instance, while Airtel charges for incoming calls in the UAE, HopSIM offers free incoming.
The other competitor to HopSIM is Matrix, which is a post paid card. Matrix is not a life time card and the number keeps changing while traveling in different countries.
The company also plans to start a network reseller business in the UK and USA. Gupta said, "We want to be network reseller in USA and UK as these countries get maximum traffic from India. A network reseller agreement will help us reduce our call rates further. We have already applied for the license and we are hopeful to get it in next two months."
Virgin Mobile in India is a perfect example of network reseller. Gupta said, "We don't want to be MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) as that way we will need to have a big business selling even to domestic customers there, while as a network reseller we have the option of keeping the business (restricted) to our international SIM business only." Gupta, however, refused to name the telco he is talking to.
HopSIM is also planning to launch region specific SIMs to further lower the call rates for travelers who go only to specific regions such as Western Europe, Middle East and South East Asia.
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