Skype WiFi app offers iOS users cheap global net access

Skype has announced news of Skype WiFi (basically a rebranding of Skype Access) with the launch of a new iOS app, available for free from Apple’s App Store.

The app enables iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners to connect to the Internet via a million WiFi hotspots worldwide at places such as hotels, airports, train stations, convention centres, bars and restaurants.

The service isn’t free, but the rates are very competitive (from $0.06 per min), with charges being made through your Skype Credit account. You only pay for the time you’re online, not the amount of data you use.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Skype’s Shadi Mahassel wrote: “Skype WiFi is great for travelers all over the world: It’s a must-have app, for your iPhone or iPad whether you’re on a business trip or enjoying holidays abroad.” He added: “Paying on a per-minute basis for WiFi Internet access is great when you’re abroad as you can avoid data roaming charges when you update Facebook, send a tweet, make a Skype call or upload photos.”

How useful will the app be? Well, maybe not so much in the US, where a great many restaurants, cafes and the like already offer Internet access, and free access at that. Outside the US, however, such a service is not quite so widespread, so it’s during those business trips or vacations in other countries that you might find yourself tapping into the service.

Those interested in Skype WiFi can try out the new app for free from 7pm ET Friday August 19 to 7pm Sunday August 21, for a maximum of 60 minutes.

To use Skype WiFi, all you need to have is a Skype account and some Skype credit – and of course, a Skype WiFi hotspot.

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