iPhone gets iPass client for global Wi-Fi access

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iPhone gets iPass client for global Wi-Fi access

Network access provider iPass has introduced a client for the iPhone, enabling business users of Apple's smartphone to access thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe that are covered by its service.

The company has also added new clients for Symbian handsets and Mac users.

Available immediately, the new Mobile Office client support for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch is aimed at mobile workers whose companies already use the iPass service, which aggregates access to numerous networks worldwide through a single subscription payment.

The new software replaces an existing iPhone client that was available only to some customers in the US, according to iPass senior product marketing manager Matt Cooke.

"With this release, we're making it available to all enterprise customers worldwide," he said.

Approximately 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in 92 countries are currently covered by the iPass virtual network.

Employees already using iPass on their laptop can now download the client from Apple's App Store, and use the same credentials on their iPhone, according to Cooke.

"A lot of enterprise customers are on a single flat rate per user, so it won't cost them any extra," he explained.

Also released today are updated clients for Symbian handsets with Nokia's Series 60 user interface and Apple's Mac OS X platform.

The Symbian update focuses on ease of use, Cooke said, as it now requires less user intervention.

"After you've entered your user credentials, that's it. It will automatically use iPass if a Wi-Fi hotspot is available, or will use your 3G cellular connection of not. It takes that complexity away from the user," he said.

The client can also be configured to fall back to 3G only if the user is connected to their home 3G network, to avoid costly roaming charges.

On the Mac, the iPass client is now integrated with the Airport access menu, Cooke said.

"We went back and re-worked it using Apple's APIs to make life easier for the user," he added.

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