Free Skype Wi-Fi Offers ‘Trustworthy’ Wireless Connections To Retailers

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Free Skype Wi-Fi allows businesses to provide free internet access and promotional deals to customers

Skype is set to launch a new Wi-Fi service for businesses that will allow them to offer free wireless Internet to their customers.

Skype Free Wi-Fi will not cost customers anything to use, while businesses will be able to offer tailored deals and product information to users. A number of larger retailers already provide in-store Wi-Fi while O2 recently launched a free outdoor network in central London, supported by advertising.

The Microsoft-owned VoIP provider will roll the service out with Wicoms to retail outlets in the UK and the Republic of Ireland immediately.

Free Skype Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi security © nobeastsofierce - Fotolia“Simplicity is at the heart of everything Skype does. We believe that internet access should be available to everyone in a simple and affordable way,” said Shadi Mahassel, programme manager for Skype Access. “Our partnership with Wicoms enhances our ability to make Skype universally accessible and expands on our Wi-Fi strategy, which today provides paid Wi-Fi access at over one million locations worldwide.”

Skype users will be able to log-in using their Skype ID at any participating outlet using the Free Skype Wi-Fi app. Those without a Skype ID will be permitted to use their email address.

Businesses can order packages starting from £9.99 (excluding VAT), along with a £49 router, with a free, no-obligation trial taking place during October. Participants will receive an analytical dashboard so that they can make the most of the data they receive from users.

“We’re helping brick and mortar retailers effectively compete with online retailers,” said Owen Geddes, managing director at Wicoms. “By working with a globally trusted partner like Skype to provide Free Skype Wi-Fi on-premise, business owners and high street retailers can open a dialogue with potential customers and encourage sales conversion with the power of the mobile phone.”

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