Devicescape cut a deal with Intel that will enable ultrabooks and tablets equipped with the chipmaker's Smart Connect Technology to automatically connect with Devicescape's virtual network of 8 million Wi-Fi hotspots.
Using Devicescape's connection manager software, applications such as email and social networks will be able to access hotspots within Devicescape's Curated Virual Network (CVN), even while the mobile device is in sleep mode.
"Smartphones have changed end-user expectations around their device experience, and elements of the mobile experience will naturally make their way into personal computers and tablets. These devices shouldn't be offline but should be capable of reaching a network automatically to allow for syncing information and notifications," said David Fraser, CEO of Devicescape.
Devicescape advocates the use of its virtual network of Wi-Fi hotspots by mobile operators for offloading traffic from their macro networks. It has partnered with companies such as MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) and iPass.
Devicescape uses crowdsourcing to develop its CVN. The company's software runs on millions of handsets around the world and gathers data on new and existing hotspots. When a new hotspot is identified, the Devicescape Offload Service attempts to validate it and record performance metrics and other characteristics. The company claims that fewer than 10 percent of public Wi-Fi hotspots perform well enough to become part of its CVN.
The deal with Intel should make Devicescape's pitch more attractive to mobile operators, according to Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst at Ovum.
"Working with Intel will obviously help get Devicescape's application on more devices and grow its hotspot directory. In turn, the bigger the directory, the more high-quality access points Devicescape will be able to provide," said Schoolar.
Nonetheless, Schoolar noted Devicescape still has not sealed a deal with a Tier 1 mobile operator. "Devicescape needs to leverage its relationship with Intel to improve its virtual network and increase its attractiveness to mobile operators. As Devicescape makes its money through licensing software, the revenue opportunity with cell phones is too big to ignore. Intel is a major step forward, but one that needs to be followed by increased adoption by mobile operators," he said.
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