In the past I have written about how WiFi is becoming the de facto unregulated stealth wireless carrier; I have also mentioned Boingo as a service that provides significant convenience when on the road, with its 125,000 access points at airports, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and other public locations worldwide.
Over the past year Skype has added Skype Access as a feature of the latest versions of both Skype for Windows (4.2) and Skype for Mac (2.8) which provides another WiFi access option at the same 125,000 Boingo access points. It’s what I would call a “last resort” option in that its convenience also comes at a premium price starting at over $0.20 per minute. Obviously it is limited to work over PC’s, whether Windows or Mac.
Today there is a new option for Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch owners only: purchase “Boingo WiFi Credits” via the Apple App Store. For $1.99 you get one hour of iPad, iPhone (or iPod Touch) connectivity over WiFi. Ideal for those who do not have a Boingo mobile account but occasionally need WiFi access at an airport or hotel to make a Skype or Truphone call. From the press release:
Consumers can purchase the $1.99 Wi-Fi credits in advance or at the time of connect simply by confirming the purchase using their iTunes account login. The credits can be redeemed for 60 consecutive minutes of Wi-Fi access at a single Boingo hotspot, and can be used at any of the more than 125,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide.
Apple mobile device owners can purchase as many credits as they want. Those users who buy credits in blocks of ten will be rewarded with an additional free credit. The credits are good for up to one full year after purchase.
Available under “Boingo WiFi Credits”, initially on the U.S. and Canadian Apple App Stores. An interesting alternative for those who do not need the ongoing access available through Boingo’s Mobile WiFi offering.
To summarize the various Boingo offerings:
- For PC’s: Boingo Unlimited Americas, Boingo Global (subscriptions) or Skype Access (occasional use)
- For iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch: Boingo Mobile (subscription) or Boingo WiFi credits (occasional use)
- For all other WiFi enabled smartphones: Boingo Mobile (subscription).
Bottom Line: one more option to connect via unregulated wireless access.
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