iPass wants a world of interconnected WiFi, a roaming 'renaissance'

Sharif Sakr
S. Sakr|07.07.11

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iPass wants a world of interconnected WiFi, a roaming 'renaissance'
Some ideas are undeniably sensible, and zero-click WiFi roaming across carriers and countries is one of them. That's why iPass has set itself the unenviable but likely profitable task of convincing global telecoms giants to overlook their differences and form an "Open Mobile Exchange" based on its cloud-based authentication technology. It won't be the first to embark on such a voyage of persuasion: Skype is already on the case and Boingo is too (at least, sort of), but there are still plenty of fragmented hotspot services out there waiting to be crushed and blended by an effortless roaming technology. We just hope iPass has perfected its pleading email template: "Dearest Carrier, have you considered...?" Full PR after the break.
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iPass Unveils Wi-Fi Exchange for Service Providers to Deliver Seamless Global Wi-Fi Roaming and Data Offload Services

iPass Open Mobile Exchange Caters to the Rapid Growth of Wi-Fi Devices Such as Smartphones, iPads and Tablets, Offering New Revenue Opportunities for Service Providers Industry Veteran Steve Livingston Joins iPass From Microsoft to Lead New Service Provider Business

REDWOOD SHORES, CA, Jul 06, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- iPass Inc. IPAS +13.92% today announced the iPass Open Mobile Exchange(TM) (iPass OMX(TM)), a carrier-grade platform for service providers to extend core mobility and Internet offerings by integrating Wi-Fi with 3G and 4G, allowing providers to seamlessly connect customers to preferred Wi-Fi networks. The platform incorporates the world's largest commercial-grade Wi-Fi network with a highly reliable authentication and transaction settlements infrastructure, allowing providers to introduce new services to capture the rapidly growing Wi-Fi enabled devices market.

With the introduction of iPass OMX, iPass also announced the addition of Steve Livingston as senior vice president of carrier development to lead sales and marketing for the company's new service provider business. Livingston, a proven sales and marketing leader with deep industry experience, was previously Microsoft general manager of Windows Phone strategic partner marketing. He has also held key leadership positions at AT&T, mBlox and ByteMobile.

"The next wave of Wi-Fi is becoming a mobile operator phenomenon, and it is our business to help telecom operators enter the Wi-Fi business with speed to market and a reduced cost and risk profile, without a need for additional capital investment," said Evan Kaplan, president and CEO of iPass. "By enabling operators to provide an integrated approach to mobility, iPass OMX positions them to participate in the second wave of Wi-Fi. With Steve Livingston at the helm of our OMX offering, I'm confident that iPass can extend its highly reliable Wi-Fi exchange service to operators worldwide."

"A WiFi exchange has the prospect of offering network operators multiple opportunities to generate services, revenue and an ability to reduce signalling load and steer traffic onto WiFi at choke points in a cellular network," said Dean Bubley of Disruptive Analysis. "Additionally, service providers can potentially monetise WiFi-only devices and on-loading of other operators' customers."

iPass OMX has already been adopted by Deutsche Telekom as part of its Wi-Fi Mobilize service, announced last month. Wi-Fi Mobilize is a new network services exchange for in-country and international roaming services, which can help numerous carrier partners of Deutsche Telekom across the globe to address the accelerating demand for data services on smartphone and tablet devices through Wi-Fi.

About iPass Open Mobile Exchange (iPass OMX) iPass OMX combines a zero-click mobile data offload solution with Wi-Fi integrated services for both domestic and international data roaming. Service providers can deliver Wi-Fi connectivity that functions like mobile data roaming, automatically connecting users to preferred networks by leveraging the world's largest commercial-grade network of half a million hotspots to create an 'always best connected' user experience.

iPass OMX enables service providers to merge Wi-Fi with 3G and 4G networks, and resell their own Wi-Fi networks to other operators within the exchange -- expediting the process of bilateral network connectivity, increasing speed to market and avoiding expensive build-outs of radio access (RAN) and core networks.
With iPass OMX service providers can:

-- Reduce network and signaling congestion by offloading mobile data
traffic to multiple Wi-Fi networks, including free Wi-Fi.
-- On-board Wi-Fi-only devices to increase their addressable market size
and revenue potential.
-- Simplify the end-user connectivity experience and add new serving
areas through Wi-Fi to broaden their geographic reach.
-- Increase customer loyalty by making data roaming more cost-effective
and deepen vital relationships with end-users on a global scale.
-- Monetize their Wi-Fi network assets to other service providers and
capitalize on the second wave of Wi-Fi with speed to market and a
reduced cost and risk profile.

About iPass Inc. Founded in 1996, iPass IPAS +13.92% manages mobile connectivity for large enterprises and global service providers through mobility and cloud services. With thousands of enterprise customers, iPass is a leading provider of enterprise mobility services which simply, smartly and openly facilitate access from any device on any network, while providing IT with the visibility and control necessary to support the demands of the enterprise workforce. iPass also provides in-country and international Wi-Fi off-load and roaming services robust enough to support both the business and mass market requirements of service providers. Additional information is available at www.iPass.com or on Smarter Connections, the iPass blog.

iPass(R) is a registered trademark and iPass Open Mobile Exchange and iPass OMX are trademarks of iPass Inc. Other company names and product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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