Global mobile connectivity specialist iPass announced a partnership with Tata Communications, under which Tata will harness iPass’ global WiFi access and related features and functions through the SmartConnect Software Development Kit.
The iPass SmartConnect Software Development Kit (SDK) enables enterprises, operators and solution vendors to incorporate iPass global mobile connectivity into their mobile applications or any device.
iPass and the Tata Group already have a longstanding partnership, which provides iPass access to Tata WiFi hotspots in India.
iPass SmartConnect was announced in November 2015. Tata Communications is using the SDK to provide additional value to Tata's customers, following a successful trial.
"Tata Communications and iPass are logical partners. Tata Communications is one of the world's largest communications companies, having relationships with over 2,000 global mobile network operators (MNOs) who buy infrastructure and various communications services from them," iPass CEO Gary Griffiths told eWEEK. "iPass has the world's largest WiFi network but, just as important, we have the technology to enable a consistent, secure, smart connection across more than 120 countries."
By using the iPass SDK, he said, Tata engineers were able to integrate iPass technology and capabilities to the Tata applications platform and extend added value to the company’s mobile network operator (MNO) customers—who, in turn, will offer the services to their customers.
The partnership with iPass will provide Tata Communications’ MNO and app service provider customers with a secure way to access the iPass WiFi network, which includes more than 53 million hotspots in more than 120 countries.
"We consider this partnership a cornerstone of our expansion plans. First, this partnership is validation of iPass’ technology and global network, in that one of the world’s major communications companies has embraced iPass SmartConnect," Griffiths said. "Second, it is endorsement of the iPass SDK; the time between the first meeting with Tata to the contract agreement was less than four months—time that included the integration of the technology."
Considering typical large enterprise sales cycles, he noted this was extremely fast, especially given the time taken to integrate technology.
"The need to be connected and stay connected is an essential part of our daily lives. The continued demand for more and more data requires a marriage between WiFi and cellular," Griffiths said. "Therefore, WiFi will continue to grow in terms of accessibility through rapid expansion that will improve the density of coverage in highly trafficked urban areas, as well as opening new rural regions to Internet connectivity."