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Boingo Inks Wi-Fi Deal with Skype

TMCnews Featured Article

January 06, 2009

Boingo Inks Wi-Fi Deal with Skype

By Michelle Robart, TMCnet Editor

Skype users can now access more than 100,000 Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, and pay using Skype (News - Alert) Credit thanks to a new deal inked between the company and Boingo Wireless.

As a software service, Skype allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet, commonly referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Placing calls to other Skype users and to toll-free numbers are free, while calls to other landlines and cell phones can be made for a small fee. Additional features include instant messaging, file transfer and video conferencing.
The new offering, called Skype Access, will be embedded into Skype as a central feature, first in the Skype for Mac 2.8 Beta software released today and then in versions of Skype for other operating systems later this year.
With Skype Access, users can connect to a Boingo Wi-Fi hotspot with a single click of their mouse and pay per minute for the Internet time used. Skype Access periodically looks for available Boingo hotspots and provides the price per minute to use the Boingo network using Skype Credit in the forum of a pop-up dialogue box.
Boingo’s Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy apply and access to all Internet services will be provided on a simple, per minute billing basis.
By combinging more than 100,000 locations from more than 150 Wi-Fi operators into one worldwide network spanning 90 countries, Boingo gives consumers the best choice of Wi-Fi hotspots.
“With Boingo and Skype Access, Skype users will be able to access hotspots around the world and know that they can get high-quality speed on the Boingo Network for their Skype calls,” said Luis Alfonso Serrano, vice president of network strategy for Boingo Wireless (News - Alert). “Boingo provides digital nomads – no matter where they are in the world – with an easy and fast way to get online.”
Sharing one authentication and enrollment process, one download and one payment method, the Skype-Boingo partnership makes it even easier for users to access one of the most popular communications platforms on the Internet with the world’s largest network of Wi-Fi hotspot operators.
“Skype Access is perfect for those times when you need to make a few Skype calls or send some instant messages while you’re on the go. You only pay for what you use, and there’s no need to fiddle with credit cards or log-in details,” stated Scott Durchslag, Skype’s chief operating officer. “This is a great example of a product enhancement that makes Skype easier to use everywhere.
Besides needing Skype Credit and a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, users must also have Skype for Mac 2.8 Beta installed and running. Prices will vary based on user location and country currency. There are no connection fees or monthly charges for Skype Access.
Boingo Wireless makes it easy for consumers to enjoy Wi-Fi access on their laptop or mobile device at more than 100,000 hotspots worldwide -- including airports, hotels, cafes and metropolitan hot zones -- with a single account. Through its Concourse Communications Group, LLC subsidiary, Boingo operates wired and wireless networks at 30 airports worldwide, including 24 of the top 100 North American airports.

Founded in 2003, Skype is transforming the way people communicate around the world. With more than 370 million registered users globally who use Skype software to communicate for free through voice and video calls as well as instant messages, Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings, such as calls made to and from landlines and mobiles, voicemail, call forwarding, and SMS.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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