Skype is to extend its free Wi-Fi hotspot coverage across the UK (and Ireland) in a deal with Wicoms.
The partnership will bring Free Skype Wi-Fi, as the service will be aptly named, to a number of high street locations and businesses. Any members of the public will be able to log on gratis – and Wicoms claims its Wi-Fi access will be “trustworthy” and secure.
You’ll sign on to the network simply by using your Skype ID, via the Skype Wi-Fi app. Or if you don’t have a Skype account, apparently you’ll only need to provide an email address to gain access.
Shadi Mahassel, Program Manager for Skype Access, commented: “Simplicity is at the heart of everything Skype does. We believe that internet access should be available to everyone in a simple and affordable way.”
“Our partnership with Wicoms enhances our ability to make Skype universally accessible and expands on our Wi-Fi strategy, which today provides paid Wi-Fi access at over one million locations worldwide.”
Microsoft (which now owns Skype, of course) is also looking to push this free Wi-Fi scheme as a major boon to businesses which adopt it for their premises. They’ll be able to push special offers and product information to customers in-store, direct to their smartphones, which may give the punter a nudge to buy something via a deal when they otherwise might have passed.
Business packages for Free Skype Wi-Fi start at £9.99 per month (not including VAT), with a one-off fee of £59 for the router. For the month of October, however, a free trial is available from Wicoms (and you can apparently keep the router, even if you don’t elect to keep the service on).