Skype expands per-minute access to Aussie hotspots

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Skype expands per-minute access to Aussie hotspots

Aussie Mac owners can now use their Skype credit to pay for per-minute access to around 360 wireless hotspots nationwide.

The new feature is called Skype Access and is available in the Skype 2.8 Beta for Mac OS X, released today.

Users of ‘other operating systems’ will find the capability built into a new version of their Skype client ‘sometime in 2009’, the company said in a statement.

Skype Access works by actively scanning for available Boingo hotspots and presenting a pop-up dialogue box displaying the price per minute to use the Boingo network.

It theoretically means Skype users can make calls from a wireless hotspot on a per-minute basis without signing up to a full wireless plan, such as Boingo's US$59.00 per month ' Global ' offering.

Boingo currently has agreements in place covering access to in excess of 360 hotspots in Australia.

Most are owned and operated by Azure Wireless, although independent hotspots also exist.

Both Skype and Boingo are said to have set a flat, global rate of US$0.19 per minute for network access, ‘which will vary based on currency’. There are no connection fees or monthly charges to use Skype Access, the firms said.

A Skype spokesperson told iTnews that the cost per-minute of using Skype Access for Boingo hotspots in Australia is $0.29 per minute (excluding VAT).
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