Carrier WiFi

TowerStream Skypes the Big Apple

Indie broadband service provider Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER) is allowing Skype Ltd. users access to its Wi-Fi network in New York in another move to push its wireless LAN ambitions forward.

The move, announced Thursday, will add the TowerStream network in Manhattan to Skype's growing, global Wi-Fi footprint. Skype Wi-Fi offers allows users to talk to other subscribers for free and charges just over 2 cents a minute for calls to landlines and mobiles -- as well for surfing the Web and getting email -- on a network of 20,000 third-party hotspots worldwide.

Why this matters
Towerstream has been working on ways to raise its profile in the hotspot market after launching a fast Wi-Fi service -- backhauled by its WiMax network -- in NYC this summer, with planned services coming in Chicago and San Francisco. The company has already been looking at offering free Wi-Fi for users who accept coupon deals from participating stores. Partnering with the low-cost Skype Wi-Fi service is another way to get users onto its network.

For more
Bone up on Towerstream's Wi-Fi ambitions:

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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