World’s biggest Wi-Fi network adds 9 million hotspots


The world’s biggest Wi-Fi network just got bigger.

iPass announced last week that they’ve teamed up with Wi-Fi ‘homespot’ leader Fon adding another 9 million hotspots to their total network count. Earlier this year, iPass also teamed up with Devicescape. Devicescape has over the past years aggregated some 20+ million Wi-Fi hotspots through crowd-sourcing and curation. Altogether this adds up to the 50 million hotspot network that iPass announced a couple of months ago.

At the same time iPass announced a new connectivity manager called ‘SmartConnect’ that first of all does away with security concerns by including a VPN. Smart move. It also adds predictive analytics that includes monitoring & measuring hotspots that are not a part of the network. This will – according to iPass – improve the user experience of connecting to the right hotspot with the right quality at the right time.

So here’s my take: For these big Wi-Fi aggregators to team up is absolutely the right thing and I’m delighted that they’re doing it. This increases the chances of success for everyone involved by – well – a lot and these are the reasons:

Size matters. And not only that: This network is now the only game in town as far as massive aggregated Wi-Fi networks are concerned. If this approach works (and I’m betting that it will) these three will be the winners simply because there isn’t really anyone else around.

Technology matters:  The new connection manager from iPass will discover and connect to hotspots intelligently and it also adds iPass’ patented technology in the form of network graphing and predictive analytics. Connectivity intelligence is key because it will serve up the right user experience.

As I’ve said many times before: I don’t think we’re more than 1-2 years away from either carriers (this would be Wi-Fi First) or a big device/Internet company  (this would be Wi-Fi First with a twist) deciding that a Wi-Fi network of this type is critical. I will be watching this carefully. Exciting times ahead.

For more on iPass, Wi-Fi First, and all things Wi-Fi don’t miss Wi-Fi NOW the conference happening in Amsterdam Nov. 17-19. Go to this link to check out our program and register now while tickets last!