iPass Inc., a leading provider of global mobile connectivity, announced the early results from an initiative to track access points in real time using iPass SmartConnect. Announced in November 2015, iPass SmartConnect started shipping on select devices in late December. In that limited time, 31 million unique access point locations have already been identified across the globe. Using new iPass patented technology, the iPass SmartConnect platform uses advanced analytics to identify and evaluate access points based on factors such as signal strength, speed, bandwidth availability and connection success rate.
The inconsistent nature of Wi-Fi means the service experience of a hotspot can change on a regular basis. However with iPass SmartConnect, the company now has the ability to understand these changes and to use its rating factors to build a real-time picture of the performance and location of Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, both inside and outside its network. This technology enables iPass to make intelligent connection decisions for its customers, automatically connecting users of its global network to the best Wi-Fi hotspot for their usage needs on any Wi-Fi enabled device.
“Everyone knows there are a number of challenges associated with connecting users to Wi-Fi — from variations in network quality, to dropped connections and dead-end or outdated hotspots,” said Gary Griffiths, president and CEO of iPass. “We have the world’s largest Wi-Fi network, and now with proprietary analytics from iPass SmartConnect, we can ensure the best user experience by pinpointing weak access points that contribute to a poor user experience, and subsequently eliminate them from our network. iPass SmartConnect is already producing significant improvements in connection success in just a short time. In addition to connecting our customers to the best available hotspot consistent with their needs, this technology allows ‘least cost routing’ to minimize our network expenses.”
Since iPass SmartConnect identifies hotspots that are not yet part of the company’s global Wi-Fi network, iPass now has access to valuable intelligence that will guide the company’s efforts to add new networks and partners.
The real-time picture of the Wi-Fi experience that iPass is building, is based on both active and passive users of its service. When any iPass user connects to a Wi-Fi hotspot, iPass SmartConnect collects experience and network data. In addition, if a user isn’t actually using Wi-Fi on their device, but is in range of an open hotspot, the iPass SmartConnect platform will collect network data on the hotspot. The data then feeds a machine learning process to ensure real-time intelligent and invisible connection decisions are made.
Griffiths concluded, “The investments we are making now in the iPass SmartConnect platform will open up a number of significant opportunities. What iPass is doing is the first of its kind — no one else in the industry has a real-time picture of the performance and user experience of Wi-Fi hotspots. This is intelligence which can be used to add value for our customers, as well as significantly improving the future of connectivity.”