iPass sees 3G as key to global coverage

08 Jun 2006

Global wireless connectivity provider iPass says 3G is set to play an increasing role in the company's strategy in providing ubiquitous broadband connectivity for the enterprise.

Douglas Loewe, VP and MD of EMEA and Asia at iPass, says more enterprises are embracing 3G to improve employee productivity and increase business flexibility as the price comes down quickly and becomes more predictable and affordable for the enterprise.

'3G is no longer a vision but a reality now,' he says. 'With HSDPA providing a transmission rate of up to 14 Mbps, 3G is going to be a very powerful mechanism for voice and data connectivity.'

He says the company, which claims global Wi-Fi coverage with some 43,000 broadband access points in 69 countries, plans to bring more 3G coverage to its enterprise customers. 'The first wave was dial-up. The second wave was Wi-Fi. The third wave is 3G,' he noted.

In line with its strategy to provide customers with ubiquitous connectivity, iPass has made a series of announcements to extend its connectivity and secure solution into the 3G and smartphone segment. The company has partnered with China Unicom to bring 3G data service connectivity based on cdma1x RTT.

It has also teamed up with Chunghwa Telecom to bring a complete suite of mobile working capabilities for remote, field and mobile workers via 3G, WLAN, roaming and wired broadband access.

Loewe said the company is now in discussions with 3G providers around the world, and it plans to apply the same business model it adopted for its Wi-Fi business in the last five years. 'Our goal is to work with as many 3G providers as possible because ubiquitous coverage is absolutely important. We have already signed up with a few operators, and interest is accelerating,' he says.

In addition, the company has also entered into an agreement with Nokia to develop iPass wireless connectivity software for the Nokia 9500, the Nokia 9300i and the Nokia E-series devices, making extended availability of the iPass secure remote access service to users of Nokia business devices.

Loewe says the Nokia partnership is in response to the industry trend that handheld mobile devices are becoming the device of choice when professionals are traveling. 'This is particular true in Asia, where there is strong embrace of smaller and powerful devices that allow you to be connected,' he notes.

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