New iPass Exchange Could Change Wi-Fi Hotspot Revenue Model

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Mobile operators have known for some time that smart phone and tablet users frequently use Wi-Fi connections, habits that offload demand from the wireless networks to the fixed line networks, simultaneously improving user experience.

Aside from end user preferences, total data demand on wireless networks is exploding. See more here.

The new iPass Open Mobile Exchange is a carrier-grade platform for service providers to integrate public Wi-Fi networks with 3G and 4G, allowing providers to seamlessly connect customers to preferred Wi-Fi networks, while adding the ability to support “for fee” access across different affiliated networks.

The platform incorporates the world’s largest commercial-grade Wi-Fi network with a highly reliable authentication and transaction settlements infrastructure, iPass said. That might allow users of one mobile network’s hotspots to use the iPass network partner hotspots, for example, as a roaming network.

At the same time, the exchange offers a way to monetize an asset that has proven a difficult stand-alone business. Up to this point, Wi-Fi networks have proven to be a value add for a fixed line broadband access service, where users got access to the public access facilities as an amenity for buying a fixed service, or using a mobile broadband service.

The exchange creates a monetization opportunity for roaming on other Wi-Fi networks. Read more. In principle, the new exchange allows mobile service providers to create a revenue-generating capability from their Wi-Fi networks where previously such networks had been amenities or features.


Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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