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back to article Skype brings per-minute Wi-Fi to iPad and iPhone

iPhone and iPad users can now be charged by the minute for Wi-Fi access, thanks to the expanded Skype Access service which now includes fondle-slabs and Jesus mobes as well as computers. Skype already offers per-minute access to various Wi-Fi networks around the world, with prices starting at three pence a minute, but that has …

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WTF?

I am confused here…..

There are two things I don't understand. One is why you would Skype to down load email or check the news ? I've been doing that on my Nokia for, ooh, ages. I think even an Apple thing can manage that now. The second thing is, if BT Open Zone is charging 11p / min, and you are making a Skype call, lets say to somebody in the UK, then isn't it going to be a damn sight cheaper just to, you know, pick up the 'phone and make a call ? And, isn't there now an incentive /not/ to make the data flow 'fast' ? Per minute means more revenue for somebody of there is a bottle neck and you are just sat there waiting, and waiting, and waiting and waiting……….

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you are confused...

Because the point here is that you can use your Skyoe credit to purchase the wifi time without having to sign up to something else.

You don't use the wifi time to #only# use skype, it just uses it as a method of paying. You can use the connection for anything.

Yes, it is a bit pricey, but I suppose for convenient, quick, on the go access, it's a nice option to have.

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@Dave's Jubblies

Thanks.

I've had a quick poke around on Three site to compare what they offer. I have a Three sim for the UK. I still think Three are about as good as it gets for the UK market, given their desire to get people using "3G" and away from 2g Voice.

For me, they still represent the best over all value for money out there.....

Maybe there is a Reg Review in that : best value for money for voice and data ?

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Anonymous Coward

I'll amend..

" I still think Three are about as good as it gets for the UK market,...."

to

"I still think Three are about as good as it gets for the UK market, provided you can get a decent signal."

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Gold badge

Ahem!

"...the company makes great play around the lack of data cap."

Or, more likely, they're gambling that King Croesus and El Dorado are unlikely to club together and find out what it is.....

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Bronze badge

I reckon no data cap is right

If they're borrowing bandwidth from openzone and FON then I think the speed is limited to 512Kb/s so I make that about 3p per MB at full speed. You're going to run out of money much more quickly than you can cause any bandwidth issues.

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13p per min is...

£7.80 per hour.

You can buy a cheaper 3g card that'll last you the month for cheaper. Fail.

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Stop

So it's not for you - who cares?

What about when I am only in the UK for a hour between flights? And then in Paris for another hour? What about Tokyo?

It might not make sense for you, but it sure as **** makes sense for me and I have been using it for a couple of years now. Massively cheaper than mobile roaming rates (dollars per MB) and I can use the PC directly instead of having to read emails on my 'phone.

Since I never travel without my PC not sure how much I will need it on an i-Anything, but once again, that's just me - I'm sure people who have dumped their PC for an iPad while travelling will love it.

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well...

I was just highlighting the heavy price for a fairly minor convenience.

(also most international airports have free wifi)

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Big convenience for me

At least where I travel in the US, airports tend to charge for wifi and despite the author's surprise, they charge by time, usually a one hour minimum. I used to be able to sit near a business lounge and "borrow" the wifi there but those days seem to be over.

The Skype deal lets me buy by the minute, otherwise I need to present a credit card to some dodgy wifi provider and buy at least an hour's worth.

This looks like a good deal for me.

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Seems like a brilliant idea

I've never liked the idea of signing up for "1 hour of access" or "24 hours of access" which costs several of my shiny gold coins and expires if you don't use it in time, but if I could just have a quid knocked off my skype credit for 10 or 15 minutes access here and there it seems a much better idea and one I'm likely to actually use. (although not very often really - Android mobile hotspot serves most of my needs)

The worst one was on Anglia trains the other day (National Express now) where they would charge more than I pay for my broadband for a monthly use. They called that a "small fee". B'stards.

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Openzone and FON

So skype charge you 11p per minute to borrow somebodies bandwidth via Open Zone. Is the BT customer who's bandwidth you're borrowing getting a cut of this 11p?

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no they won't get a cut...

What they will get is the privelidge of using other BT users Wifi for free though, as part of the deal for allowing others to use theirs.

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WTF?

Browsed in 60 seconds...

Per minute does not compute, also it's not quite cheap and if it's "uncapped" it's not like any fondleslab user is going to be downloading a BluRay rip movie via the Torrents!

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FAIL

App in background

Seriously, does it need the app to monitor usage?

So, what happens if you kill the app - I take it Skype have agreed a fee per minute with BT et al which they log on with their credentials to if you need the app running in the background to bill you the user?

If so, not many people on here are going to pay for more than a minutes worth of usage.....

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Facepalm

Why the hell would you pay by the minute..

..when there's a Muccy D's with free wi-fi on almost every street in the big cities.

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Foreign airports

I came across this (on a Macbook) by accident at Boston airport. Skype just popped up saying "you can pay for Internet access at this rate, click here".

I didn't have a mobile phone or 3G dongle that would charge at all reasonable rates in the US. And there was no free Wifi. All told, it was very convenient (no extra signup) and pretty good value considering.

Completely useless at home in the UK when I have a phone with data plan and tethering, of course.

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roaming SIM?

for that price there are better options that give you better coverage... Skype wifi access points are pretty few and far between but something like a Maxroam SIM gives you voice and data (or data only) world wide

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Facepalm

you too, missed the point...

The issue here isn't about value access, it's about someone like me, who never normally needs outside access, but finds themselves somewhere with a need for a few minutes, and with billing via skype, for a few minutes use, is convenient and secure.

Why buy a sim card that gets used once and forgotten or lost? Why buy a dongle and forget to carry it for the odd occasion you need it...

It's about convenience and choice is all...

If you want value, look elsewhere, it's not pretending to be cheap.

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Meh

Yes you are.

"I am confused here….. "

Yes you are - computer back in the box time.

The service is to allow you to access wifi hotspots which you do not otherwise have access to - of course if you have a 3G data service you would probably use that - but if you were on holiday it could be a lot cheaper to pay to access a wifi hotspot rather than pay data roaming rates.

Also not all iPads are 3G enabled models - many / most are wifi only - so if you are out and about it's a sensible option. More sensible of course (although perhaps less convenient) is to find a free wifi hotspot as provided by some coffee shops etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Maxroam SIM... not the same.

Maxroam SIM... not the same. Just checked and if you wanted to roam in the US it was EUR 0.59 per 100kb - so EUR 5.90 per 1Mb. So you want to browse some web pages, download some emails - perhaps for 10-15 minutes - you are going to use a good few Mb I would expect. So with Maxroam you could run up quite a charge - at least with the Skype service 15 minutes would probably only cost about £1.50.

Any form of 'data' roaming is usually much more expensive - at least this gives you access to wifi access points for a relatively low cost with no subscription.

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