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Wi-Fi hotspot providers link their networks to offer secure wireless

Cliff Saran

T-Mobile International and T-Com are to link their European Wi-Fi hotspot networks into the iPass Global Broadband Roaming network. iPass has more than 37,000 Wi-Fi and hotel Ethernet hotspots worldwide.

The deal will enable the users to obtain secure wireless access at major airports and hotel chains as well as Starbucks coffee shops, McDonald's restaurants and Texaco service stations, the companies said.

Through the partnership, iPass said more than 800,000 iPass users would be able to use the 8,000-plus T-Mobile hotspot and T-Com hotspot locations in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic. 

As part of the integration process, T-Mobile and T-Com Wi-Fi hotspots will be put through the iPass enterprise-ready certification programme to ensure they can be used by iPass customers.

The venues will be tested to ensure network quality and service availability standards, as well as interoperability with policy and security tools, such as virtual private networks, personal firewalls and anti-virus software, iPass said. 

Anurag Lal, senior vice-president for strategic services and business development at iPass, said, "In the UK alone, this partnership means the addition of nearly 1,000 hotspots to the iPass network, with coverage in all major airports, over 300 Starbucks coffee shops, 280 Texaco service stations and 250 business hotels, providing extensive coverage where our customers want to connect from."

The network provides trusted connectivity services using a virtual network spanning 160 countries.

At the end of last year iPass announced it would be acquiring one of its rivals, GoRemote. Brownlee Thomas, a principal analyst in Forrester's telecom and networks research group, said the combined iPass/GoRemote firm would be able to offer companies a complete range of integrated public internet virtual private network services to support different types of mobile and remote workers - travellers, home workers, and small and branch offices.


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