Wi-Fi Networker iPass Debuts in Solid IPO
Quick note on the iPass IPO: a lot of people are trying to use this to support an argument that there is venture money and a hungry investor climate for WiFi businesses “like iPass”. However, iPass themselves make it clear that they are not a WiFi company. iPass provides simplified remote access solutions to corporate customers. That means they help mobile professionals connect to the Internet when they are traveling by providing local ISP dial-up, Ethernet, or WiFi service. iPass does so by brokering a deal in advance with over 200 local ISPs in 150 countries. In total, they offer service on 16,000 dial-up POPs, 1,500 Wi-Fi hotspots and 500+ Ethernet-enabled venues. To iPass, WiFi is just another plug. So, in fact, the enthusiasm for iPass stock is not because they are a WiFi company, but because they provide “roaming” solutions which simplify mobile connectivity for enterprise customers. This happens to be something the WiFi sector is still lacking.