iPass Adds 8,000 Sites Across the Pond
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While the T-Mobile Hotspot network in the United States (providing Wi-Fi service at Starbucks, Borders and many other locations) has long been a part of the iPass Global Broadband Roaming network, as of today the T-Mobile hotspots of Europe are also going to be part of the virtual network.
Deutsche Telekom runs T-Mobile International in the U.S. and Europe; its T-Com subsidiary is a broadband provider with wireless services in Germany, and through other telecom partners in Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovakia. Together, the two will give iPass an additional 1,000 hotspots in the U.K. and 7,000 more in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic.
"The venues are more hotel and airport oriented in Europe," says Rick Bilodeau, iPass' Senior Director of Corporate & Channel Marketing, "though they do have several hundred Starbucks and Borders. There's a larger number of hotels as well, especially on the T-Com service."
The hotspots won't be available instantly, however. First, iPass will be testing them through its Enterprise Ready program, to make sure they're all able to handle corporate needs such as VPN pass-thru, as well as supporting the iPass generic interface standard (GIS) for authentication.
On February 15, iPass finalized the purchase of its primary competitor GoRemote in a cash deal, with plans to integrate the two companies' virtual networks. They had some overlap (both had roaming deals with T-Mobile USA) and some unique locations in each (GoRemote had a roaming deal with The Cloud in the U.K.; iPass did not.) iPass has a hotspot finder on its Web site to find locations enabled for iPass user access, using the iPassConnect client software customized to each corporate customer.
As of December 2005, iPass said it had 35,000 live Wi-Fi venues. Bilodeau says with the contracts iPass currently has signed, the company expects to pass 60,000 hotspots in 160 countries by June of this year.