Skype becomes pretty busy to extend their service as good and fast as possible. Now, European based Skype announced a new partnership with Boingo Wireless, a leading Wi-Fi HotSpot aggregator who announced today "Skype Zones", offering global Wi-Fi access to Skype customers at revolutionary prices.
Skype Zones enables Skype's more than 45 million users to access Skype's feature-rich Internet telephony via Boingo's network of 18.000 Wi-Fi hot spots worldwide using a custom Skype version of the award-winning Boingo Software. Unlimited Wi-Fi access for Skype Internet telephony calls is available for US$ 7.95 per month. Skype Zones is currently a beta service, and terms and availability may change.
Consumers and business travelers benefit from the freedom of low-cost, superior-quality calling while on the move by integrating Wi-Fi access and Skype's multi-mode communications. Skype users simply log on to the Skype Zones service using the Skype Zones - Powered by Boingo software, which includes Boingo's Wi-Fi sniffer, connection management and roaming authentication capabilities. Once connected, users can make Skype calls and access key features such as presence, global user directory, contact lists and instant messages with the Skype software.
"Partnering with Skype demonstrates the evolution of public-access Wi-Fi to include VoIP and other value added applications by allowing greater connectivity and productivity on the move," said David Hagan, Boingo president and CEO. "Skype's convenience and call quality have made it as important to travelers as email, and we expect Skype usage to increase traffic and revenue at our network of hot spots."
"Boingo is a world-class company that offers Skype users unprecedented global communications mobility and accessibility, at an aggressive, market disrupting price," said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder. "Affordable broadband access is fundamental to open communications, and partnering with Boingo to deliver unlimited Skype access around the world at such a compelling price point will generate new customers for both companies."
The combined Skype Zones service is available immediately. It is a beta service during which Skype will solicit feedback from users to ensure optimum service delivery and feature enhancements. The Skype Zones client is available for Windows computers and can be downloaded from the Skype store (www.skype.com) or the Boingo web site (www.boingo.com). Monthly access to Skype Zones is US$ 7.95 per month for unlimited Skype access or US$ 2.95 for a 2-hour connection.
A directory of Boingo's 18.000 hotspots is included in the Skype Zones software and is also listed at Boingo's homepage.
Skype's Internet telephony allows free, unlimited Skype to Skype calls as well as inexpensive, seamless connectivity to ordinary fixed and mobile telephones. SkypeOut, Skype's first premium offering which has more than 1.6 million users, offers global calling at local rates. SkypeIn, currently in beta testing, allows customers to purchase a personal number in their resident country to receive inbound calls to their Skype client, and Skype Voicemail customers can maintain continuous availability with a voicemail box, even while offline. With more than 45 million users, Skype is the leading VoIP-category product worldwide and has enabled more than 10 billion minutes of superior-quality talk time.
Sounds good but no Pocket PC client yet? Hope this is adopted soon since it is way more convenient to use the W-LAN enabled Pocket PC for Skype then booting a Notebook first to make a phone call. This isn't convenient at all, even not in a coffee-shop. ;-)
Cheers ~ Arne