A big day for Wifi, as data offload services are booming

06 July 2011 |


A number of major Wifi announcements have hit the market today.

Everyone’s emphasising Wifi’s seamless connectivity and the benefits it can bring to customers, but there are a number of other benefits for carriers. As a solution to network choke points and an alternative method of reducing signalling load, Wifi is gaining momentum in the telecoms market.

Describing Wifi as a “mobile operator phenomenon”, iPass has announced the launch of a new Wifi exchange, the iPass Open Mobile Exchange (iPass OMX), for both domestic and international data roaming. It describes this as “a carrier-grade platform for service providers to extend core mobility and internet offerings by integrating Wifi with 3G and 4G, allowing providers to seamlessly connect customers to preferred Wifi networks.”

Allowing service providers to resell their own Wifi networks to other operators within the exchange, it is designed to assist them to monetise their assets. “It is our business to help telecoms operators enter the Wifi business with speed to market and a reduced cost and risk profile, without a need for additional capital investment,” said Evan Kaplan, president and CEO of iPass.

Last month, Deutsche Telekom launched its own WiFi Mobilize service (see here), which is a new network services exchange for in-country and international roaming services, and adopted iPass OMX as part of this development. Michael Wilkens, senior vice president of international business at Deutsche Telekom said that “Wifi has re-emerged as an essential service for network assets”.

In another development, KDDI Corporation has selected Ruckus Wireless to supply advanced Wifi products for what it describes as “the world’s first and largest ‘instant on’ Wifi access and mobile data offload service”, with over 100,000 hotspots planned throughout Japan. “Wifi is clearly at the top of the list for service providers around the world looking for new ways to increase cellular capacity,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless.