Business WiFi connectivity provider iPass has launched a cloud-based mobile service that allows business travellers to cost effectively connect to WiFi hotspots.
The Business Traveler Service 2.0 uses a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model and automated technology to increase WiFi use among travellers with smartphones, laptops and tablets, enabling them to avoid more costly mobile operator networks.
The service allows users to more easily connect to over 2.7 million hotspots in airports, airplanes, hotels and public areas worldwide. Through a single log-in, users obtain automatic access and authentication to cost-effective and secure WiFi networks in over 120 countries.
The service is available at 3,000 airports, across 22 airlines on around 2,150 airplanes, and at over 72,000 hotels and convention centres.
"A 'WiFi first' generation uses cellular data only when WiFi isn't available," said Evan Kaplan, CEO of iPass. "Business travellers are especially reliant on WiFi, but they are also increasingly frustrated by the hoops they must leap through, that can include advertising, logins and payments with each session, frequent timeouts, and unpredictable and expensive fees."
Enterprises subscribe to the iPass Business Travel 2.0 service, removing the need for employees to use credit cards, while ensuring business travellers have access to high quality, advertising-free WiFi.
The service is available on IOS, Android, and Microsoft devices. Businesses simply provide a list of users who they would like to access the service and iPass does the rest.
iPass uses automated messaging to inform users about the service, prompt them to activate their accounts, and deals with all support issues.
The company also released its Business Traveller Connectivity Report which showed that business travellers are frustrated with a lot of the free and credit card based WiFi services around today. They reported concerns around security as well as saying paid for Wi-Fi services where you pay for a an hour or day of connectivity were too expensive.
The report also highlights that business travellers' expectations for Wi-Fi are still not being met, primarily in airports, where 53% of respondents found services to be below expectations, and also in hotels (43%). On airplanes, 60% of respondents expect Wi-Fi to be available, and 58% are disappointed when it isn't.