It was bound to happen: Skype is joining hands with hotspot provider The Cloud in offering mobile roaming phone calls through Skype handsets across the U.K. and Europe. Customers with an SMC Networks' WiFi phone for Skype will be able to make VoIP calls automatically through Skype when they are within range of one of The Cloud's hotspots. Calls to and from other Skype users are free, and Skype says that calls to fixed and mobile users can be made at a substantially reduced cost if customers purchased SkypeOut minutes.
This is not a bad deal. The Cloud operates some 8,500 hotspots in the U.K., Germany, Scandinavia and The Netherlands. The service is already available in the U.K., and German and Nordic service will become available toward the end of the year. France, Spain, Italy and Benelux will join in early 2007. There is more: Early joiners will receive a month's free access. Niall Murphy, CTO of The Cloud, says: "Mobile VoIP using Skype is an innovative and rapidly emerging market and our agreement with SMC provides an exciting new service for our WiFi hotspots and marks the start of a real low-cost alternative to traditional telecoms' services."
For more on the Skype-The Cloud deal
- see Simon Aughton PCPro report