has announced that its Global Broadband Roaming (GBR) network for enterprise customers now includes more than 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots and 1,000 Ethernet venues with locations in 24 countries. The iPass GBR network is focused on business-oriented locations such as airports, hotels, conference centers and other places where an increasingly mobile enterprise workforce conducts business.
“Wi-Fi’s potential for improved productivity by workers who are away from the office is significant,” said Jon Russo, vice president of marketing at iPass. “But the traveling workforce is often at work in hotel rooms, which is why iPass has worked equally hard at including Ethernet service in over 1,000 hotels in our Global Broadband Roaming footprint. While we are beginning to see the enterprise realize the compelling aspects of wireless broadband, it is equally important to fill in the gaps in availability of this still nascent technology with other connectivity options such as Ethernet, dial and ISDN.”
The GBR network is part of the iPass virtual network that includes over 20,000 access points weaved together from approximately 275 networks in over 150 countries. In addition to Wi-Fi and Ethernet service, the iPass virtual network includes dial-up, ISDN and Personal Handyphone System (a 2.5 G wireless technology in Asia). iPass delivers connectivity on its network via the award-winning iPassConnect service interface and offers enterprises secure authentication as well as centralized billing and management, and a reliable consistent connection experience.
“Our virtual network platform was built with flexibility and scalability in mind, and allows us to quickly integrate new providers into the network while enabling enterprise-ready standards for reliability, compatibility, and security,” adds Russo.
As with all iPass network providers, before becoming active in the iPass service each of the Wi-Fi service providers must be certified by iPass as Enterprise Ready by passing a rigorous testing regimen to ensure service availability as well as interoperability with policy-based security systems such as virtual private networks, personal firewalls and virus protection.
“There are a few reasons IT executives are delaying company-wide Wi-Fi adoption for their mobile employees: the lack of roaming and single-source billing arrangements, and the absence of a consistent, security-enabled connection interface,” says Robin Gareiss, Nemertes Research principal research analyst, who just finished a five-month project in which she conducted detailed interviews with 60 high-level IT executives about their Wi-Fi plans. “iPass has taken a giant step in helping companies resolve these concerns and obtain broadband remote connectivity with links to 2,500 Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as 1,000 Ethernet access points.”
Related stories on ITN:
(26/06/2003) iPass Global Broadband Network Expands in Europe & Asia