UK mobile virtual network operator Lycamobile has won a major deal with US mobile connectivity specialist iPass to offer its customers Wi-Fi internet access using a white-labeled version of iPass’s SmartConnect Wi-Fi service platform.
The deal, which is reported to be worth seven figures, also includes the integration of the iPass SmartConnect Software Development Kit (SDK) into Lycamobile’s service platform. The SDK allows Lycamobile to access iPass’ core technologies via APIs and create custom interfaces for presenting and selecting Wi-Fi networks, among other things.
“We are committed to offering extended value and service availability to our customers, whether they are connected to cellular or Wi-Fi. iPass’ expertise in connection management allows automatic selection of the best available service for our subscribers,” said Subaskaran Allirajah, Chairman of Lyca Group.
Patricia Hume, chief commercial officer at iPass, said, “We’re pleased to partner with Lycamobile to provide global Wi-Fi connectivity to its core customers. This is a further example of how iPass SmartConnect helps our MVNOs quickly realize the benefits of global Wi-Fi. MVNOs are looking for a competitive advantage, and global Wi-Fi is a great way to reduce their network costs, while improving customer retention and acquisition.”
Last November, iPass launched its suite of mobile device analytics and big data services, called Veri-Fi. The suite leverages iPass’ global network of Wi-Fi hotspots to provide real-time device data, including device location, connected hotspot, device type, operating system, and version. Mobile network operators can use this data to measure network performance and gain insight into mobile device behavior.
Lycamobile is not the only operator who sees Wi-Fi connectivity as a key way to attract new kinds of customers and increase its competitive advantage, with BT, MTS, and Telefónica Deutschland having recently launched voice over Wi-Fi.