Skype extends Cloud cover to Skype-badged phones

Skype has teamed up with Wi-Fi hotspot provider The Cloud to offer mobile roaming phone calls via Skype handsets across the UK and Europe.

Skype extends Cloud cover to Skype-badged phones

Anyone with an SMC Networks’ WiFi phone for Skype will be able to automatically make Internet-based Skype phone calls when they are within range of one of The Cloud’s hotspot. Calls to and from other Skype users are entirely free, while calls to fixed and mobile users can be made at what Skype says is a substantially reduced cost via the purchase of SkypeOut minutes. The phone also provides easy access to Skype accounts and contacts.

The Cloud currently has some 8,500 hotspots in the UK, Germany, the Nordic countries and The Netherlands. It also operates large scale networks across the City of London, Canary Wharf, Amsterdam and seven other UK cities and two London boroughs.

‘This agreement delivers on our commitment to provide the widest range of WiFi services to customers across Europe,’ said Niall Murphy, CTO of The Cloud. ‘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.’

The service will initially launch in the UK in October, with German and Nordic availability to follow towards the end of the year followed by France, Spain, Italy and Benelux at the start of 2007. Early adopters will receive a month’s free access.

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