The hype from Netgear about their Skype phone continues. Back in January at CES word of this came froward via a press conference. I asked then, and I continue to wonder if this will work with Skype Zones, the hot spot program. The phone, which ships on June 30 lets you receive calls in WiFi hot spots, but what remains unclear is if you can authenticate onto networks that require a user name and password beyond the tyical WEP or WPA authentication.
Even their FAQ yields no additional insight. Hopefully the Skype PR team out of the UK can shed some light. As this is a question I've been asking that has more implications, especially to partners and competitors.
The SkypeZones are in Beta with Skype and two large Hot Spot partners, The Cloud and Boingo. Boingo, whose software powers the user side of Skype Zones, is also entering the dual mode world in a different manner with phones by Kypcera that hand over between mobile and WiFi networks and handle the so named two stage authentication. They are also rumored to be in talks with Yahoo, something my sources tell me is more akin to kicking the tires and totally exploratory at this point with no real plan, deal or relationship proposed.