By Daniel Hunter
Wicoms and Skype today (Tuesday) announced the launch of a new WiFi network initiative called Free Skype WiFi.
The new service is rolling out in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in participating high street venues and businesses to deliver simple, trustworthy and free public internet access. The Free Skype WiFi service is available for businesses to purchase at skypewifi.wicoms.com
In a recent YouGov survey conducted by Wicoms, 52 percent of all the people surveyed who had used public Wi-Fi hotspots whilst out shopping, said that the experience is generally poor. Wicoms and Skype have partnered to create the Free Skype WiFi network to improve the Wi-Fi experience for consumers by bringing easily accessible and free public WiFi that consumers can trust.
Wicoms’ new Free Skype WiFi will allow Skype users to log in to any participating Free Skype WiFi location across the UK and Ireland with their Skype ID using the Skype WiFi app. For those without a Skype ID, all it takes is a single step email entry in order to gain access. Once connected, consumers can use the reliable and free Wi-Fi provided by Wicoms to browse the web, engage with social media, access and send emails, shop, compare prices and even download special deals from participating high street retailers.
Shadi Mahassel, Program Manager for Skype Access commented: “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. 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.”
Free Skype WiFi will also provide businesses with the opportunity to engage directly with customers on premise through their mobile phones. Wicom’s survey revealed that at least 33% of 18-34 year olds are browsing Amazon, eBay or Google on their mobile phones to compare prices and products while out shopping. With Free Skype WiFi, businesses can provide their customers with direct connectivity onsite and start to engage with customers in-store, providing special deals and product information to drive sales conversion.
Wicom’s survey also revealed that over 50% of 18-34 year olds would be more likely to buy something from a store there and then, if the store was able to send a discount or voucher to their phone when they entered.
Owen Geddes, Managing Director at Wicoms commented: “We’re helping brick and mortar retailers effectively compete with online retailers. 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.”
Free Skype WiFi is available for businesses and venues through a number of different packages starting from £9.99 + VAT a month, plus a router costing £49 +VAT. However, throughout October 2012, Wicoms is offering businesses, free of charge, use of the hardware and the ability to deliver the WiFi service, for the duration of October 2012. There are no strings attached; at the end of October, Wicoms will contact every business which has accepted this offer to see if it wants to continue providing the WiFi service, and if it doesn’t, it can still keep the router free of charge.
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