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Skype Launches WiFi Hotspot Operator Partnership Program with Leading WiFi Providers

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February 14, 2011

Skype Launches WiFi Hotspot Operator Partnership Program with Leading WiFi Providers

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Skype Access, pay-as-you-go Internet that uses your Skype (News - Alert) Credit to get online, has officially launched a WiFi hotspot operator partnership program with leading WiFi (News - Alert) providers around the globe.

Officials with Skype said that with the help of the program, Skype users with just one click can connect to the Internet through a WiFi operator partner in over 500,000 hotspots around the globe—including 500 airports, 30,000 hotels and numerous cafes, trains, planes, offices buildings and convention centers.

Company officials pointed out that Skype Access allows one to pay per minute using Skype Credit to control costs at rates starting at £.04 /€.05/$.06per minute.

Skype Access partnership program opens many opportunities for the WiFi operators, as operators are able to generate additional revenues from untapped users who prefer pay-as-you-go models versus traditional vouchers.

Partnering with Skype provides operators access to Skype’s 145 million average monthly connected users who are communicating with their friends, family and colleagues both at home and while travelling.

Skype Access partners include some of the top names including BT (News - Alert) Openzone, which is the UK’s largest WiFi hotspot provider with a network of 2 million hotspots: Fon—one of the world's largest WiFi networks with over 3.35 million Fon Spots across the globe; M3 Connect—a WiFi provider in Germany with hotspots in many hotels, fairgrounds, airports and places like the German Stock Exchange among others.

TMCnet in January reported that group video calling for consumers and enterprises has been officially been launched by Skype. Groups of three or more can be brought together easily on a single video call with the feature.

In the second half of 2010, approximately 41.5 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes have been attributed to video calling.

Skype has introduced a new Premium package which will also include group video calling. Users can purchase a day pass for $4.99 or a monthly subscription for $8.99 per month. The Premium package will include group video calling along with access to live chat customer support.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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