HMD Global is probably most famous for bringing back Nokia phones into the smartphone fold. However it looks like they’re expanding their business into mobile operations by bringing a data-only SIM, intended for those who travel and still need to be connected. There was no big announcement for this but the arrival of the HMD Connect app on the Google Play Store, even if in beta version, signals their entry into this market even as some of the details are still unclear.
The details that we can get about their data SIM and plans are from the app description and the app screenshots. The plans supposedly start at €9.95 but it also shows that a 1GB package can cost as much as €14.95. You can upgrade by adding €5 on its Pay As You Go system and while the data package is the same price wherever you go, the amount of data per package varies. They claim you can “save up to 70% when roaming in 120 countries.”
It’s also possible that the service will come with a VPN because it says “your data is always anonymous and safer (sic)” and you need not worry about unsecure Wi-Fi hotspots in public places like hotels and cafes. The app itself will let you manage your packages and also keep track of how much data you’ve already used. It might be pre-installed in Nokia devices but it doesn’t seem to be exclusive to HMD smartphones only.
The website says the starter kit is €19.95 and it includes a SIM card, 1GB data plus shipping and tax. There are three zones indicated with Zone 1 being mostly Europe and the UK and US, Zone 2 having a lot of Asian countries, and Zone 3 a lot of African countries but also including China and Korea.
There are a lot of options now for travelers when they want to be connected, whether it’s roaming or a travel data SIM like this one. With our current situation though where countries are closing their borders to help contain the spread of COVID-19, we don’t know yet what the future will hold for the travel industry in general and then for products like this.