Skyrove Maps (Beta)

Skyrove Maps Hi folks, We have finally launched Skyrove Maps. It’s still in Beta, so please forgive some minor bugs and anomylous behaviour. Please note that less than 10% of Skyrove hotspots are currently shown on the map. We depend on Hotspot Owners providing us with their hotspot coordinates, so it will be a few weeks before all Skyrove hotspots are shown. It also only works in Firefox for the time being, so if you’re STILL running Internet Explorer head over to www.getfirefox.com and get the faster, more secure internet browser. Your feedback is always welcome! (Either here, on our forums or by email

Changes to Pricing Increments

We had some requests from Hotspot Providers who wanted to set a price somewhere below 10 credits per MB but above 5 credits per MB. Previously, you could only choose 0, 5, 10, 15… and so on.

From now, you can set the price at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, … up to 20 credits per MB in increments of 1.

1 credit is still equivalent to 1 US cent.

Please leave us some feedback about this or anything else you’d like to see improved in Skyrove!

Skyrove Pricing Recommendations

I’d like to share with you ways in which you can maximise your Hotspot earnings, while at the same time offering a highly competitive service to Skyrovers.

One of the things we’ve learnt in the last few months is that the most expensive hotspots do not make the most money.

For example, we have 2 hotspots that both cater exclusively for American Exchange students.

Here’s a brief comparison:

Hotspot A Hotspot B
12 users 18 users
~$1005 per month $734 per month
Average user time online: 46 minutes Average user time online: 23 minutes

Although Hotspot A is 4 times cheaper, its earnings are almost 50% higher! Hotspot A is also much more likely to retain customers in the face of ever-growing competition.

The reason for this is simple: Once Internet users perceive the service to be expensive, they start closely monitoring their own usage. If internet access is affordable, users don’t hesitate to download a song from iTunes or having a lengthy chat using Skype. Although they now spend more, they are definitely getting more value for money! They’re also less likley to look for alternatives.

Based on our current experience with hotspots at cafes, hotels and MDUs (Multiple Dwelling Units), we’d like to make the following pricing recommendations:

  • Cafes/restaurants: 10 – 20 credits per MB
  • Hotels: 15 – 30 credits per MB
  • MDUs & Student Accommodation: 5 – 10 credits per MB

(Note that these are recommended prices for South Africa & other countries with similarly high bandwidth costs)

Please experiment with your pricing, perhaps by offering time-limited discounts. Be sure to distribute pamphlets informing users of a price drop. It’s important to find a ’sweet spot’, a price that is low enough to encourage the maximum amount of usage and customer retention while at the same time retaining sufficient profit margins to fund your next Skyrove hotspot!

New Portal Page is Live

Skyrove Portal Page v2 Hi folks, The new portal page has gone live. If you are a Hotspot Provider, you’ll need to log into your account manager and update some settings. Of course this is an iterative process, so we welcome your feedback for the next iteration of our portal page. Please see our previous post for the main requirements. We know it’s not as “pretty” as the last one was, but then I prefer Google (simplicity) over Yahoo (bells & whistles). We’ll keep working on it!

Financial Mail: Skyrove

‘I was a student who couldn’t afford broadband,’ says Henk Kleynhans, the CEO of Skyrove. ‘I thought sharing broadband with my digsmates through WiFi would be a way to make it more affordable for all of us. That’s how I came up with the concept of Skyrove.’

Read more…