iPass, Inc., a long-time leader in providing mobility services to many of the world’s largest companies, today announced the first enterprise-configurable Wi-Fi hotspot solution for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The company also announced availability of new versions of its iPassConnect™ mobility manager software for devices running Apple Mac OS X and Nokia S60 operating systems. With these additions, iPass now provides the broadest support for smartphone devices in an enterprise mobility service. According to Gartner, 38.1 million smartphone units were sold worldwide in 4Q08.* iPass today enables connectivity to platforms accounting for roughly 70 percent of this number.
iPass’ installed base of over 2,000,000 active users can immediately download the new iPassConnect mobility manager software from www.ipass.com/misc/ipclaunch and use the username and password they already have today to access the more than 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots covering 92 countries in the iPass global, virtual network.
Significantly, iPass will not charge enterprise customers additional fees for individuals who utilize two or more devices in a given month, a common occurrence for mobile workers using both a smartphone and laptop. This approach helps enterprises reduce 3G usage without incurring extra charges.
International business travelers also stand to reap major benefits from accessing iPass’ global network by avoiding potentially astronomical 3G roaming charges, such as the $62,000 bill one gentleman recently received for downloading a movie over cellular during a trip to Mexico. Surprises like these can have a negative impact on both the connectivity budget and the reputation of the IT department.
“Enterprise IT managers face challenges supporting the multitude of employee-owned mobile devices that are making their way into business settings,” said Eric Paulak, managing vice president, Gartner, Inc. “This consumerization trend will continue as Gen Y employees grow to dominate the workforce, and presents new cost control, support, and security risks for the enterprise. Wi-Fi hotspots provide a great opportunity for enterprises to offload 3G expense, especially the massive bills that can accrue from international roaming.”
Wi-Fi has grown to be very popular on smartphones. According to a recent report from ABI Research, 74 percent of people who have Wi-Fi on their mobile phone use it, and 77 percent say they will seek Wi-Fi in their next phone as well.
The benefits of using iPass’ world-leading global Wi-Fi hotspot network on smartphones include:

  • Lower 3G charges: enterprises can offload megabytes from their user’s 3G data plans, and avoid international roaming charges, without adding new user fees for a second device.**
  • Ease of use: users simply download the iPassConnect mobility manager software from the Internet, enter a company-specific code for a one-time configuration to corporate policies and connect to iPass hotspots using their existing corporate username and password.
  • An integrated enterprise solution: There is no up-front work required by IT to enable the service. IT Managers get detailed usage reporting and an integrated invoice from iPass covering all of a user’s devices and usage methods.
  • Real-time and multimedia performance: Wi-Fi delivers higher throughput and lower latency than 3G, and is better able to support real-time applications such as Skype, videoconferencing and online collaboration.
  • Rural, indoors and in-flight coverage: 3G coverage often degrades or disappears as one leaves urban centers or head indoors. On flights, Wi-Fi is often the only data solution.

“iPass is dedicated to helping our customers harness the power of the mobile internet in a simple, secure and cost-effective manner. Extending and improving our iPass Mobile Office service across consumer-driven enterprise platforms such as the iPhone, Nokia S60 and Mac OS X is critical to this effort,” said Evan Kaplan, iPass president and CEO. “As web-friendly smartphones enter the business via employees’ pockets, they are driving increased IT complexity. iPass will continue to be the answer for enterprises who want to cost-effectively serve the evolving needs of their mobile workforce.”
The iPass Mobile Office service allows enterprises to deliver a single, unified connection experience over multiple access technologies and across multiple device types around the world. The software enables one-click or fully automated access to the iPass global network, making it simple for users to get connected using their standard corporate username and password and remain in compliance with corporate policies. The iPass global virtual network includes wired and wireless broadband in 93 countries including over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, hotel Ethernet locations and 3G mobile broadband. The service also gives IT managers control over how users connect to the Internet, visibility into their mobile internet usage, and a single detailed invoice.
iPass Mobile Office currently supports Windows Vista, XP and 2000, Max OS X 10.4 and 10.5, Symbian S60 Third Generation devices (versions 9.0, 9.1, and 9.2), Windows Mobile 5, 6 and Pocket PC 2003, and the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPod touch.