iPass says they have 20,092 hotspots in 51 countries: The enterprise mobile worker connectivity firm has been aggressively courting operators around the world to amass this portfolio which includes 55 networks. Sprint PCS now claims over 19,000 hotspots in their fixed-fee network, and it would be interested to do a side-by-side comparison--but also quite difficult.
iPass uses metered rates for hotspot, dial-up, ISDN, and wired access for its customers which allow corporations to use a single network login both within their enterprise and with the iPass Connect client software. Instead of each user paying a fee for unlimited access on a number of networks, iPass aggregates not just networks but usage. So a worker who is on the road a few days a month may average out the usage of a worker who is constantly on the road. From a cost containment standpoint, this approach appears to be one that enterprises like. But it requires scale of locations especially for international companies or those with international sales.
Sprint PCS aggregates locations from SBC, Boingo, AirPath, Wayport, STSN, and other, but the majority of their locations are domestic. They offer unlimited usage plans for businesses on a per-user basis that can include metered rates for dial-up. They also offer a client. Sprint PCS works extensively with enterprises, too, in some cases building their networks through a managed services division.
I would not have thought a few weeks ago that the battle for corporate hotspot pocketbooks would be fought between iPass and Sprint PCS. But here we are. Sprint PCS is in the middle of a large transition as a carrier with its Nextel merger in the works; iPass is a publicly traded firm that once had a stock price five times higher than today and market cap of well over a billion dollars.
Moving into competition with Sprint PCS may not be a bad thing for iPass at all; it's good company.