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Low Cost Virtual SIM Card Enables Mobile Numbers for the Phoneless

Movirtu share virtual SIM cardFor many people in the developing world, having a mobile phone can make a huge difference in their lives, by not just enabling easier communication, but also by allowing users to take advantage of mobile payment processing and sending or receiving money.

However, even with access to a local mobile network, if users can’t come up with the money for a phone of their own, they are stuck with borrowing one or using a pay phone, which isn’t a really viable solution for the longer term. So what is someone who is “unphoned” to do?

The answer might lie in a service that provides a virtual SIM card, so that the user has their own virtual number to use, no matter what phone they may be using.

Movirtu, which offers a solution for the workplace where the “bring your own device” trend can make it very confusing for both employers and employees alike to keep their usage and billing separate. And now Movirtu’s Share service could bring a similar functionality to anyone, even those without their own phone.

“Movirtu Share requires no special handsets, SIM cards, or additional client software; it works instantly, even on basic mobile handsets. Further, since all information is transmitted between the handset and the Movirtu Share server using secure channels, the user is not exposed to privacy issues of leaving information on a borrowed handset. Not only does the system enable real time communication when the subscriber is logged in, but it also manages the subscriber’s offline activity, tracking missed calls, sending notification alerts to friends or nearby village phone operators.” – Movirtu

In essence, Movirtu’s service separates the SIM card from the phone number, which are usually tied together as one service. This allows for multiple numbers for one phone, and can empower many of the world’s “unphoned” millions with their own phone number, voice mail, text messaging, and other mobile services, even without owning a handset.

“That virtual SIM card has it has its own voice mail – it is in fact a real mobile number, but it doesn’t need a physical phone. Users buy a plastic card, like a credit card, with their mobile number printed on them, and they can of course give that number to their friends and family and contacts. When they actually want to make a phone call or access their voice mail or messaging, they can take someone else’s mobile phone – any mobile phone – and temporarily activate their mobile number on that donor or borrowed phone.” – Dowser

Find out more about Movirtu’s services at their website.

Written by Derek Markham

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

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