WiFi power play alliance claims 50 million global connections

via Flickr © Wesley Fryer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Flickr © Wesley Fryer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week Devicescape and iPass announced a partnership which the two WiFi players are claiming will represent one of those big steps forward for WiFi usage.

Devicescape runs what it describes as a WiFi service platform - basically it curates a huge collection of amenity WiFi connections (the ones in fast food restaurants and so on) and then, via an app on the user’s smartphone, can determine the best connection (at least cost) and deliver access service over that. The curation involves running a database with performance stats for all the available connections to determine which ones should be used by which users.

Devicescape says there’s therefore a natural fit with iPass which claims it has the largest global commercial WiFi network with its 20 million hotspots in airports, hotels and so on across the globe. Taken together the networks have 50 million WiFi locations which means that their joint capabilities could potentially make a nice fit for MVNOs and so-called ‘WiFi first’ operators where the game is to have users sit on ‘curated’ WiFi as much as possible, with cellular service mopping up where WiFi is unavailable, or unavailable at acceptable quality.

According to Devicescape’s CEO, Dave Fraser, WiFi should be recognised as a valuable component in the network mix for all operators.

“No single network in isolation can deliver the quality and consistency of connectivity that end users require,” he says in a canned press release statement. “We are thrilled to be contributing our Curated Virtual Network to this ambitious undertaking, not least because it is so well aligned with our Connectivity First philosophy.”

The partnership will also expand Devicescape’s activity in the enterprise market, in which iPass does well.

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