Skype and Boingo Wireless deal

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Randy Savicky
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Skype and Boingo Wireless deal

Boingo Wireless, one of the leading Wi-Fi hotspot aggregators, and Skype, today announced Skype Zones - Powered by Boingo service, offering global Wi-Fi access to Skype customers.

Skype Zones enables Skype's users to access Skype's Internet telephony calling features via Boingo's network of 18,000 Wi-Fi hot spots worldwide using a custom Skype version of the Boingo Software. Unlimited Wi-Fi access for Skype Internet telephony calls is available for $7.95 per month. Skype Zones is currently a beta service, and terms and availability may change.

This deal essentially adds another pricing model for Boingo allowing users to pop into a hotspot and make a quick Skype call. You will be limited however to making Skype calls and not be able to perform data downloads, surf the Web, etc. Boingo charges $21.95 per month for unlimited Internet access. Again, monthly access to Skype Zones is $7.95 per month for unlimited Skype access or you can simply pay a $2.95 ala carte fee for a 2-hour connection.

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.

"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 (http://www.skype.com) or the Boingo web site (http://www.boingo.com).

Executives from Skype and Boingo Wireless will discuss the deal later today in a conference call with analysts and journalists.



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