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SMC seeks Cloud cover for Euro Skype phone

Free calls from any Wi-Fi hotspot

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Pub based UK Wi-Fi network The Cloud has agreed a deal with Skype that it says will deliver the first mobile roaming Skype service on Wi-Fi handsets, at all 8,500 public Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots across Europe.

The idea is that Wi-Fi phone owners can use Skype when they are within range of a Cloud hotspot using a phone from SMC Networks. Calls to and from other Skype users are free, and there are low priced options for calls to fixed and mobile users using SkypeOut.

"Our agreement and technology development with The Cloud adds a new level of flexibility and mobility to the concept of Wi-Fi telephony," SMC Networks general manager Europe and Africa George Zervos said.

"Our customers can still use accessible Wi-Fi networks at home, in the office, on university campuses and many other places, but with this innovative new arrangement, users can seamlessly access thousands of The Cloud hotspots, as well as city centres across Europe and eventually across the world as roaming agreements develop."

The service will launch in the UK in October and the Nordics and Germany will follow towards the end of the year. It will then commence in France, Spain, Italy and Benelux at the start of 2007.

The SMC WSKP100 is SMC's first Wi-Fi phone for Skype and delivers three hours' continuous talk-time and 30 hour standby and can be recharged from any USB enabled socket.

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