The agreement will significantly enhance the reach of iPass services, which are used primarily by corporate customers. Redwood Shores, Calif.-based iPass sells a service that allows employees to remotely tap corporate networks; T-Mobile is the largest provider of Wi-Fi Internet access in the United States with nearly 4,000 locations.
T-Mobile USA and iPass sign an agreement letting iPass business subscribers connect to T-Mobile's Wi-Fi hot spots.
The deal gives iPass and its 415,000 business subscribers access to the leading hot-spot network in the United States. For T-Mobile, it gives access to a large pool of business users, who are the most likely to use hot-spot services.
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Subscribers to iPass' services will be able to use T-Mobile hot spots to access corporate networks in the first quarter, according to iPass representatives.
A Wi-Fi hot spot is a public location where individuals can wirelessly access the Internet via a broadband Internet connection. The deal means that iPass's business users will be able to connect to their corporate networks from a T-Mobile hot spot.
Analysts have said that the most likely users of hot-spot services are traveling business workers. T-Mobile executives have said in the past that 88 percent of subscribers use the service for business purposes. The iPass agreement will give T-Mobile access to a large pool of potential business subscribers.
As previously reported,and was expected to announce a deal with a company that targets businesses. The iPass deal is the first roaming agreement for T-Mobile.
Focusing on the corporate market is a change in plans for T-Mobile, which initially aimed for a broad coverage area by striking alliances
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"The Wi-Fi visions of both iPass and T-Mobile are in synch," Ken Denman, CEO of iPass, said in a press release.
iPass has nearly 3,000 hot spots in 16 countries and more than 1,200 Ethernet-enabled locations globally. There are 415,000 subscribers to iPass services, and they will be charged $9.99 for a 24-hour pass to connect to T-Mobile's hot-spot service.
T-Mobile is expected to announce more roaming partners next year.