IPass inks Devicescape roaming deal, announces 'world's largest commercial Wi-Fi network' with 50M hotspots

IPass announced a new resale deal with Devicescape that the company said will allow it to create the world's "largest commercial Wi-Fi network" that includes around 50 million hotspots. The agreement more than doubles the number of global hotspots available through iPass' aggregated Wi-Fi network.

Under the new agreement between the two companies, iPass is essentially combining its aggregated Wi-Fi network with Devicescape's aggregated Wi-Fi network, thereby more than doubling the number of hotspots iPass currently offers. IPass CEO Gary Griffiths said the companies have relatively few overlapping hotspots, and that the "majority" of the hotspots are in North America, though he declined to provide a specific figure.

"It opens up the opportunity for us to have a much wider footprint," he said in an interview with FierceWirelessTech.

Griffiths said the additional Devicescape hotspots would be provided to iPass customers at no extra charge. Earlier this year, iPass announced an unlimited usage option that essentially removed data usage caps from the company's service plans. IPass generally sells its services to corporate customers, and Griffiths said the company's service pricing is based on the number of users a corporate customer adds to its plan. For example, he said that a corporate customer with 100 iPass users would pay around $25 per month for unlimited access to iPass' hotspots.

IPass also counts a number of important resale agreements: HP, Microsoft, Huawei and others resell iPass' Wi-Fi network to their respective users.

Griffiths declined to provide the financial details of the agreement between iPass and Devicescape, though iPass noted that it will have limited exclusivity to Devicescape's assets, and that it expects to finish its integration work by the end of the current quarter.

"There's an expense upfront [to iPass] on this," Griffiths explained. "But this is a bilateral deal. In the details of this business arrangement, there's some cash going both ways."

Griffiths added that iPass expects the deal to ultimately result in "very positive cash flow" for iPass.

Looking into the future, Griffiths said the addition of Devicescape's hotspots into iPass' offering would open up additional opportunities for the company. He said the company's 50 million hotspots could be used in Internet of Things scenarios, where machines and other objects are connected to the Internet. He also said that wireless carriers might use iPass' network in the future as they look to offload their cellular traffic onto nearby Wi-Fi hotpots.

Interestingly, Griffiths noted that part of iPass' network includes hotspots from Comcast, as well as other cable companies. "We are a big customer of Comcast," Griffiths said. "They are a significant supplier of hotspots for us." Comcast recently announced that it now counts more than 10 million hotspots in its network nationwide.

For more:
- see this iPass release

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