Skype launch Wi-Fi global access to mobile users:
In a radical but quite amazing leap from simply offering VOIP, Skype with new owners Microsoft are now offering iPad, iPhone and iTouch users access to Global WiFi hot spots from as little as 6 cents, or around £0.04, €0.05 per minute.
Now this is very handy for anyone wanting to access emails while abroad via a fast Wi-Fi hotspot instead of over priced and dodgy 3G connections, and starts to open up the possibility that people will be ditching conventional mobile phone tariffs when wi-fi access and a multitasking smartphone is available.
How will this work?
Basically I envisage a point (and have talked about this before) when you will no longer need a traditional mobile phone call package, and simply go for a data package with an operator or in this case a company like Skype, so you can leave your Skype or Gmail chat facility on all the time very similar to simply having a normal mobile phone.
Skype’s current offering in detail:
Skype has launched the applications for the Apple range so far (iPad, iPhone, iTouch), kind of ironic considering that Skype are now owned by Apples original nemesis Microsoft (now most people who make any type of gadget appear to be Apples cupertienemy numero uno), such is life at the top.
The way it works will simply be to use your Skype credits on a per minute basis as and when you choose to access their WiFi hot spots that are globally based.
So its a pay-as-you-go internet access, pricing is set to be quiet standard though the actual amounts will depend on what ISP you are taping into at any given time via hostpots.
In order to access the service your Apple device will need to be running at least iOS 4.1 this ensures that your device can offer multitasking so you can run the Skype Wi-FI application while accessing the internet service you want on top of this.
No news on an Android equivalent just yet
I have heard of no Skype applications released just yet for the Android O/S, but will keep you all updated if and when this occurs.Anthony Munns