Within the next few months, users of GoRemote Mobile Office software for getting access back to the corporate network while on the road or at home will have an added feature: phone calls over the Internet.
Calls will be delivered, like so many Internet phone calls are, via use of Skype, the popular IP telephony software. GoRemote, which provides Internet access via dial-up, broadband and over 30,000 hotspots, will include the Skype client software with a new version of Mobile Office coming within the next couple of months.
“Anytime you start your PC with GoRemote Mobile Office, it will do security checks, authenticate the person to the network… it launches company security protocols,” says GoRemote CEO Tim Thimot. “And now it launches the Skype Client.”
There’s no modification to the Skype software for this partnership. Skype for Windows was recently upgraded to version 1.4 to provide improved sound quality, a call-forwarding option, and personalization features; the software has been download over 178 million times. GoRemote is making the changes needed to launch the telephony software, at least for now. The deal between the companies calls for much tighter integration in the future.
Skype calls to POTS (plain old telephone system) lines cost extra, while calls from PC to PC are free. Those fees will still be handled by Skype and not integrated into GoRemote pricing, but the company intends to look at that for future integration as well.
GoRemote is not the first hotspot aggregator for businesses to partner with Skype. Fiberlink is also bundling the telephony software with its Extend360 software. The Luxembourg-based Skype — which was recently purchased by online auction powerhouse eBay — also works with Boingo Wireless, another virtual hotspot network provider. In the latter case, however, the two integrated the Skype and Boingo clients to essentially make a Web-phone-call-only piece of software for users who don’t want to pay the full price to get online for surfing and e-mail.
GoRemote recently passed the 30,000 hotspots mark worldwide when it landed T-Mobile Hotspot as a roaming partner for its enterprise customers.