Beyond VoIP TMC

Skype Announcements

November 16, 2006

First, Skype announced that Skype for Mac 2.5 Beta is now available. The new version is specially designed with exclusive Mac-only features including the ability to send an SMS message to any mobile phone number in the world, and it allows users to make 10-way conference calls.

The second announcement is about an interesting new communications product and service bundle. Skype, SMC Networks and FON have combined their technologies to create a new bundle that makes it easy to enjoy Internet calls without any need for a PC. The bundle includes the SMC Wi-Fi Phone for Skype, FON’s wireless router "La Fonera", 500 minutes of SkypeOut credit, and Skype Voicemail for a year. The bundle is exclusively available to U.S. and European consumers from the Skype Web store, and is priced at 139 euros ($159.99 in the U.S., £99 in the UK).

FON is an interesting company. Founded in 2006 in Madrid, Spain, FON's mission is to stimulate growth of WiFi Internet access through its WiFi sharing community of "Foneros". FON’s La Fonera WiFi routers, which are subsidized for those who join the FON Community, have been specifically designed to enable Foneros to share their home access points with the FON Community. In return for sharing, Foneros gain free WiFi access everywhere in the world. FON's investors include Google, Skype, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

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