A new service called Free Skype WiFi has been launched today by Wicoms and Skype in UK and the Republic of Ireland. Businesses can purchase this service at skypewifi.wicoms.com and its launch comes after a recent survey made by Wicoms which has revealed that 52% of those had used Wi-Fi hotspots generally had a poor experience. This partnership aims to provide businesses and consumers with access to free quality public WiFi.
Skype users can access any available Free Skype WiFi location using their Skype ID and the Skype WiFi app. If a user doesn’t have such an ID, there is a simple single step procedure that involves gaining access using an email address.
“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, Program Manager for Skype Access. “Our partnership with Wicoms enhances our ability to make Skype universally accessible and expands on our WiFi strategy, which today provides paid WiFi access at over one million locations worldwide.”
The same survey by Wicoms also showed that over 50% of 18-34 year olds are likely to buy something from a store on the spot if they receive a discount or voucher to their phone when they enter that shop. In such a case, for a retailer, having a hotspot and offering discounts could prove profitable.
Of course, there is a price involved for those that want to offer such a hotspot. However, during October, Wicoms offers businesses free use of their hardware and the ability to deliver the WiFi service to their own customers. After this trial period, they can extend the availability of the hotspot and be charged accordingly. If the business says no, they still get to keep the router.
“We’re helping brick and mortar retailers effectively compete with online retailers,” explained Owen Geddes, Managing Director at Wicoms. “By working with a globally trusted partner like Skype to provide Free Skype WiFi 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.”
Most WiFi networks often come with a poor connection – hated by locals and travelers, especially if they need to go online for work. High quality free WiFi hotspots would most surely be appreciated by people, but it all has a cost for those that want to provide them. In the end, the success of this “new network” of free WiFi spots depends on this trial period: most likely if businesses see that it’s worth to have such technology in place, they’ll pay for it in order to gain a bigger profit. If not, customers in the UK and Ireland will enjoy good WiFi for free only in October.
Its believed that SKYPE is not using a PR agency in Europe – in the United States, they are represented by Kaplow PR.