iPass Experience

By Carol Ellison  |  Posted 2004-06-04 Print this article Print

Consider iPass, one of the premiere resellers of hot-spot service. iPass counts both T-Mobile and Wayport as partners and resells their services, along with many others, through its aggregated network of about 350 networks that serve nearly 10,000 hot spots. It adds the value of having signed many roaming agreements with providers, allowing iPass to act as an AAA clearinghouse for its partners. Click here to read about a hot-spot pact between T-Mobile USA and iPass.
The company authenticates users, consolidates billing charges and provides secure access, including VPN encryption, back to the corporate network.
Clients access any of its partner networks via software that resides on their device. The software adds extra measures of security on the client device, including personal firewalls and anti-virus protection. Click here to visit the Ziff Davis Channel Zone for more news and insights about partnering. Anurag Lal, vice president of strategic services and business development at iPass, described the companys value proposition in simple terms: "We handle all the ugly plumbing that most users probably dont want to worry about." iPass business model is pegged to the enterprise, but it downsells services through its own reseller network. Those resellers, in turn, typically aggregate the iPass service within a larger managed service offering that they provide to their clients. So, the question from this side of the Atlantic is not whether hot-spot business opportunities for resellers will disappear. Its whether they will live up to the hype. Of course, its the nature of hype that the realities never live up to the promise. But hot spots do help resellers who follow the model of making them part of a managed-services offering, by providing a fuller complement of services with which to attract new business. Check out eWEEK.coms Mobile & Wireless Center at http://wireless.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis.

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Carol Ellison is editor of eWEEK.com's Mobile & Wireless Topic Center. She has authored whitepapers on wireless computing (two on network security–,Securing Wi-Fi Wireless Networks with Today's Technologies, Wi-Fi Protected Access: Strong, Standards-based Interoperable Security for Today's Wi-Fi Networks, and Wi-Fi Public Access: Enabling the future with public wireless networks.

Ms. Ellison served in senior and executive editorial positions for Ziff Davis Media and CMP Media. As an executive editor at Ziff Davis Media, she launched the networking track of The IT Insider Series, a newsletter/conference/Web site offering targeted to chief information officers and corporate directors of information technology. As senior editor at CMP Media's VARBusiness, she launched the Web site, VARBusiness University, an online professional resource center for value-added resellers of information technology.

Ms. Ellison has chaired numerous industry panels and has been quoted as a networking and educational technology expert in The New York Times, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, CNN Headline News, WNBC and CNN/FN, as well as local and regional Comcast and Cablevision reports. Her articles have appeared in most major hi-tech publications and numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor.

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