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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile

Skype and Boingo marry free VoIP calls with cheap Wi-Fi access

Skype and Boingo marry free VoIP calls with cheap Wi-Fi access

Skype and Boingo announced today a partnership that would give Skype subscribers access to Boingo's 18,000 global hot spots to make free VoIP calls for a mere $7.95 per month for unlimited access (the Skype service itself is free). Skype users access the new service, called Skype Zones-Powered by Boingo, via a custom Skype version of Boingo's Wi-Fi software, which includes a Wi-Fi sniffer, connection management services, and roaming authentication capabilities. A single two-hour session on Skype Zones costs $2.95. The Skype Zones service alone won't allow you to surf the Web or check your e-mail, though. In order to do that through Boingo, you'll have to sign up for Boingo's $21.95-per-month service (and pay for Skype Zones on top of that). Skype and Boingo are touting Skype Zones as a "market disrupting" service that gives global travelers an alternative to expensive global cellular service. The service is currently in beta, and Skype will be asking for customer feedback in order to improve the service. Unfortunately, only Windows users can take advantage of this for now. The custom software can be downloaded from both Skype and Boingo's Web sites.