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(Pocket-lint) - A host of free Wi-Fi hotspots are set to emerge up and down the country thanks to a new partnership between Wicoms and Skype.

“Free Skype WiFi” is being rolled out from today across the UK and Ireland with Skype users simply needing to log on via their user ID. Non-Skype users will still be able to get involved by following the necessary steps presented via an email, once they have provided an address.

The influx of Wi-Fi hotspots is dependent on local businesses and stores signing up to the various packages Skype and Wicoms is making available, but there is an incentive.

Businesses and retailers will be able to promote specific deals to shoppers who log on to their Wi-Fi network, enabling targeted marketing campaigns and encouraging purchases. 

What’s more, throughout October businesses can trial the service without charge and even if they decided to discontinue come November they’ll be able to keep hold of the router. 

The usual cost for a business to sign up to Free Skype WiFi starts at £9.99 (plus VAT) a month, with the router costing a further £49 (plus VAT). 

The partnership between Wicoms and Skype is the latest step in free Wi-Fi hotspots hitting popular shopping destinations around the UK. WHSmith recently announced it would be providing hotspots in its stores while London landmarks courtesy of O2, along with Virgin Media catering the London Underground is also enabling free online access.

Writing by Danny Brogan.