Skype and Boingo Deal - Skaboing!

Skype Zones is the latest move by Skype to get beyond the desktop, and bring their brand of VoIP to the WiFi world.

Can you think of two companies with more unusual names - but also doing groundbreaking stuff with the two biggest trends in communications - VoIP and WiFi? So, I guess if you put 'em together, you get Skaboing. I wonder how that translates in Swedish?

On today's conference call, Niklas Zennstrom and David Hagan told the story in under 20 minutes, which I thought was great. Neat and tidy. Niklas emphasized this is a beta service still, but the price is right, and so is the footprint. $7.95 per month gets you unlimited voice access using Skype across Boingo's network of 18,000 hotspots. Just like that, instant market coverage. If you add on Boingo's charge of $21.95 per month for unlimited Internet access, you've pretty much got the ultimate combo - all you can eat voice and data with mobility.

Not only that, but if you just need a quick hit of mobile Skype, you can get 2 hours of Skype access for just $2.95. I think that's really great - not quite micro-billing, but finally some interesting options that will really work for a lot of people.

WiFi isn't all there yet for voice, but it brings Skype to people on the go in a hurry, and at that price, the major mobile operators have got to be watching this one carefully. I think we're going to start seeing more deals like this, and soon. Telecom moves in IP time now, and I'll bet we'll see other deals along these lines in a matter of days, not weeks or months.