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cfarivar (Offline)
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Posts: 2
Join Date: 28 Jan 2009

Default Digital Nomad Pack - 03-12-2011, 15:38

Hey guys,

I wanted to run an idea by you -- it's a startup idea that I've been working on this weekend, called a "Digital Nomad Pack."

Basically the idea is to sell a pack around a particular city that would include:

-a local SIM (provider chosen based in best prepaid mobile Internet deal)
- a curated list of the best five free WiFi hotspots in that city (cafe, bar, coworking space, hackerspace, library, etc)
- a physical map showing those hotspots
- when applicable, a day pass/4 pack of transit tickets for that city

The idea is that you could order it in advance, have it delivered to you, and hit the ground running with that product in hand, so you can get your work done wherever you are.

This would cost, say a 20-30% markup from the total cost of each item. The customer would be paying for not only the SIM, but saving time by learning where work-friendly free wifi would be located. I would price it at something that I myself would actually pay for, like €20-30 max.

Would this be a product that folks here would be interested in?

@digitalnomadpk /

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adam917 (Offline)
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Posts: 187
Join Date: 14 Sep 2008
Location: North America

Default 21-12-2011, 17:13

I think this is a brilliant idea especially for people who aren't familiar with the language used in the city or cities in question.

Active SIMs:
2007-05-14: T-Mobile post-paid (USA: 267)
2007-12: T-Mobile pre-paid (USA: 857)
2009-01-21: Mobal World (UK)
2010-06-08: TracFone (USA: 215)
2011-03-12: Tru (USA: 305)
2011-08-01: AT&T pre-paid (USA: 212)
2011-08-22: Spot Mobile (USA: 603)
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bylo (Offline)
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Posts: 202
Join Date: 03 Oct 2007

Default 21-12-2011, 18:51

Originally Posted by adam917 View Post
I think this is a brilliant idea especially for people who aren't familiar with the language used in the city or cities in question.
ISTM if you're going to charge a "20-30% markup" then you should also add some value to the package. For instance the package should include clear, simple instructions in the most popular foreign languages for activating/configuring/topping up the SIM. Also information on how to access the free WiFi if it's not obvious and so on.

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f300 (Offline)
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Join Date: 12 Mar 2008

Default 02-01-2012, 12:01

Idea is very good but I don't think it can go very far with cities, there are easily 20 "interesting" cities in each of the "big" EU countries. Only investing in public transport tickets (which also usually expire) is a big task (and they aren't usually easy to get online but one of the easiest thing to get at the destination).
With SIM cards you should be able to easily manage 5-10 countries; most of the info about plans and options are available already on, you'll need to keep a db of yourself with those (also with expiration dates and credit/options on each card).
You can also do some partial refunds if people send the cards back to you after they're done (postage is like 1-2EUR for an envelope throught Europe so this shouldn't be a problem). You can even do more complicated stuff: card comes back with some money on it, you put it in your database as available with precisely that credit (make sure you deactivate any recurring charges), somebody buys it paying for the included credit then you refund some of the money to the guy who sent you the SIM back with the remaining credit (of course minus some comission that would cover all the costs involved). Or you give them store credit.
Also you could use your customers as suppliers as well: if you always run out of more exotic cards (for India for example) you could pay back your customers if they return more cards than you gave them. For example you give one indian SIM to a customer who gets once more for you while it's there, then he returns both cards to you and you give him some compensation.
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Stu (Offline)
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Posts: 1,091
Join Date: 11 Feb 2004
Location: Detroit (formerly Dubai)

Default 03-01-2012, 01:25

I think it is a great idea. I would adapt my suggestions/packages a bit for each city. For example, Central London has the Cloud mesh network and BT has most of its pay phone booths turned into mobile wifi spots. Offering a bundle based on that might make sense. In Paris (or other French city) access to the Free network wold pull this off.

If you have boots on the grounds in the various cities, consider putting together a coupon pack that might be tourist friendly and include that. You could might be able to get yourself a fee based revenue stream coming from the merchants as well. This could also help you crack the wifi nut in countries like Germany which is a little harder to find free wifi in. "Free wifi with the purchase of xxxx" might be an easy thing to get out of some merchants.

Who is your target audience tourists or business people? What about coming up with some sort of life line service in a city. Rather than figuring out how to staff it, figure out how to incentivize it/monetize with local partners.
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 03-01-2012, 02:48

I think it's quite hard to keep track of SIM cards and changing tariffs for so many countries. There are so many national specifics, a lot of prepaid SIMs cannot be recharged from abroad and so on. Regarding public transport tickets these are personalized in many places and sometimes you even need to personalize them upon purchase.
This could only work smoothly if you had agents in each country or agents covering few countries, which would supply customers with SIM cards, transport tickets etc. (maybe add power adaptors to your list).
The question however is how this could become economically viable. You would have quite a lot of work with each customer and you would need to charge quite a premium over your own costs to earn something with this. However you are aiming at people who want to save money on their trips and with such a premium you would reduce the acutal savings.
The idea is nice anyway, but I wonder how to create a viable business case from it.

terminals: Samsung: Galaxy S5 DuoS (G900FD); BLU: Win HD LTE; Nokia: 1200; Asus: Fonepad 7 ME372CG; Huawei data: E3372, Vodafone R201, K3765, E1762;
postpaid: O2 on Business XL; prepaid: DE: Aldi Talk, Lidl; UK: 3; BG: MTel, vivacom; RU: MTS; RS: MTS; UAE: du Tourist SIM; INT'L: toggle mobile
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dg7feq (Offline)
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Join Date: 04 Feb 2006
Location: Germany

Default 03-01-2012, 08:52

The idea itself is great, but as Inquisitor already said this would need a lot of organisation and for sure local people in each country/city to purchase tickets/SIM-cards etc. Quite costy if not made by enthusiasts (e.g. "if you help me buying tickets in Berlin you can get free tickets in other towns)...


Germany: o2 blue all-in L, simquadrat
Thailand: truemove (phone+sms+wifi)
International: xxSim+372, toggle +44/+49/+41/+31
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kuba.g (Offline)
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Join Date: 24 Oct 2010

Default 03-01-2012, 17:09

I also agree with Inquisitor!

Instead, we could work a bit on improving the infrastructure of non-profit PrePaidGSM members from different countries willing to help each other with sim cards. The assumption is that people interested in this matter are willing to help each other without making a profit on it.

Mobile internet sim cards:
INT: abroadband, NL: Simyo, *bliep, BE: Colruyt Mobile, MEDIONmobile, LUX: Orange, PL: mBank Mobile,
DE: Congstar, MEDIONmobile, IE: Vodafone, CH: OK Mobil, SwissCom, SE: Telia, ES: MásMovil,
GR: Cosmote, IT: TIM, RO: Vodafone, RS: mt:s, BY: Privet, UA: Kievstar, MD: Moldcell

Feel free to consult me about sim cards in the Benelux and Poland.
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