At the start of the week Skype organised a deal to offer SMS alongside its ever-spreading voice market. However the company had ever larger ideas in mind and has now gone after people away from their desktops, allowing anyone in range of 350 wireless hotspots to make free internet phone calls.
The ReadytoSurf outlets owned by Broadreach Networks covers the Virgin Megastore chain, Travelodge hotels and major London rail stations, with the next rollout occuring on Virgin Trains. From today Skype users can make calls using the ReadytoSurf network, and in future there are plans to add voicemail and videoconferencing. Its pre-paid service Skype out has 940,000 users and across the world, almost over 28 million users have downloaded the free client.
Maybe in 10 years' time we'll see whether Skype can make the Yahoo-style jump into offering a broad range of profitable services, but time will tell. Right now, if it's free and you have wi-fi on your phone, why not give it a try.
Click here and follow the Skype link on the front page to find out about the deal and get a list of available hotspots near you.