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Skype WiFi Comes to iOS: Get Online for $0.06 Per Minute

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If you’re a frequent traveller, you know how much of a hassle paid WiFi networks can be. For a while now, recent Microsoft acquisition Skype has been trying to make things a bit easier by giving its users the ability to pay for WiFi access with the money they already have on their Skype accounts. Even better, Skype WiFi access is metered by the minute, so you don’t have to pay for an expensive hourly or daily pass just because you need to send an email from your laptop. Prices start at $0.06 per minute, though may be higher depending on the provider. Until now, Skype Wifi was only available for Windows machines and Macs, but starting today, you will also be able to use Skype’s new Wifi app for iOS to get online.

Once opened, the Skype WiFi app simply recognizes that you are on a network that supports payment with Skype credits (there are about a million of these worldwide). Once you sign in, you simply click the “Go Online” button and start using the Internet. Just remember to also go back to the app and click “Disconnect” before you get on your plane or leave that coffee shop in Rome.

Skype ios app wifi

For travellers who don’t want to pay roaming costs while abroad and who just want to get online quickly at the airport to download a book or magazine before a flight, this app could come in very handy. There are no caps on data usage while you are online and you only pay for the time you were actually using the WiFi. Once online, you can also use Skype to make phone calls.

For most people, this is probably a cheaper option than paying for a daily pass, though frequent travellers are probably still better off with monthly data plans from Boingo and similar companies. In order to give people a chance to try Skype WiFi, access will be free anywhere Skype credit is accepted “from Saturday 20th August 00:00 till Sunday 21st August 23:59 BST for a maximum of 60 minutes.”

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3:41 pm


Boingo Extends its Roaming Network into the Air – But Doesn’t Go Far Enough

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Given the airline industry’s penchant for pay-as-you-go services, we won’t see “free” WiFi on planes anytime soon. Thanks to a new agreement between WiFi-hotspot provider Boingo and in-flight Wifi provider Gogo, getting online in a WiFi-enabled plane will soon get a little bit easier. The two companies just announced a new roaming agreement, which allows Boingo users to sign in to Gogo’s network by either using their Boingo credentials on Gogo’s homepage or by using Boingo’s mobile apps.

At first, this sounds great, but sadly this agreement doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay extra for in-flight WiFi if you have already have a Boingo subscription or just paid for a daily or hourly WiFi pass in the terminal. You will still have to pay $4.95, $9.95 or $12.95 per flight for laptop access, depending on the length of the flight. Smartphone users will pay $4.95 or $7.95.

If you are a current Gogo user, you will recognize these prices, as Boingo doesn’t offer any discounts or other deals for Boingo users. As it stands, this agreement feels like a missed opportunity for both companies, but hopefully we will see new plans that offer a deeper integration (and discounts) soon.

 



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