STSN Joins iPass Network

Salt Lake City, Utah-based STSN, an Internet provider that specializes in wired and wireless access for hotels, is the latest company to become part of the virtual network run by iPass that provides access for mobile business users. This agreement is STSN’s first roaming deal.

The addition of STSN to the iPass virtual network — iPass doesn’t build the physical networks, but touches all those partner networks so its paying users can roam among them — means an additional 500 locations iPass users can employ while traveling. STSN has networks setup in hotels chains such as Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Radisson, Embassy Suites and Hilton.

In the announcement, STSN CEO David Garrison said that users “have been hoping to use the iPass service at STSN’s network.”

Integration of STSN will not be immediate. iPass will, as it does with all of its roaming partners, make sure that STSN’s various networks are tested for interoperability, so that users of the iPass client software can log on with the variety of virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls the software supports.
Earlier this week, iPass, headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif., announced that it now has over 2000 “access points,” which it breaks down as being 1500 hotspot locations and 500 Ethernet-based locations. This includes the integration of 450 hotspots in Japan recently launched by NTT Communications (going to 1,000 by year’s end). The iPass Global Broadband Roaming (GBR) service is now available in 22 countries, 14 of which have Wi-Fi locations. These numbers don’t yet reflect the integration of STSN’s networks or any other networks that have not yet been validated by the company.

Other iPass virtual network partners the company aggregates include Wayport, Surf and Sip, StayOnline , FatPort, and future locations from Cometa Networks . iPass is currently in its ‘quiet period’ as they await approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public offering sometime this year.

STSN was one of the companies that garnered backing from the Intel Communications Fund division, which pledged $150 million in investments in Wi-Fi companies late in 2002. STSN is now branding its wireless Internet access as iBAHN Wireless High-Speed Internet Access, and it’s usually available in hotel common areas such as the lobby. STSN guest room access is generally done via Ethernet or USB connection.

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