RealTime IT News

Skype Goes Boingo For Wi-Fi

It just got easier to make Skype-based Voice over IP calls over Wi-Fi, thanks to a new partnership between Skype and Boingo Wireless.

The companies today announced a new service called Skype Zones, which enables Skype usage across Boingo network of 18,000 global hotspots. The service is being initially offered at $8 a month for unlimited Wi-Fi access for Skype calls, which is significantly less than the $22 a month that Boingo currently charges for unlimited data access.

Skype Zones includes access to Skype P2P voice network, as well as Bongo's connection managements, roaming authentication and Wi-Fi sniffer features.

Boingo is not the first Wi-Fi hotspot firm to go after Skype users, and Skype isn't the first VoIP service to be offered by Boingo. In March, UK ISP Broadreach partnered with Skype to offer Skype calls across Broadreach network of 350 hotspots.

In October, Boingo announced a partnership with Vonage. The partnership was planned to provide Vonage subscribers with access to Boingo Wi-Fi hotspot network. At the time, Boingo indicated that the partnership was the first step in Boingo comprehensive VoIP strategy.

Beyond Vonage and Skype, Boingo which was founded by EarthLink founder Sky Dayton could also potentially offer its own home-grown service.

In September, EarthLink began testing its own SIP-based peer-to-peer network. Called SIPshare, it is only a prototype and is not yet a supported EarthLink product.