Firms offered more control over BYOD mobile costs

Enterprise WiFi provider iPass is allowing companies and their IT departments to get a tighter handle on their bring your own device (BYOD) mobile connection costs.

The company has launched its Open Mobile Express service, which allows mobile workers to use the iPass global WiFi network on their own devices, but instead of the company or IT department being billed for use, the end user or their individual department gets the bill.

The end user downloads the iPass client software on their device and starts using it to connect to the iPass network after their IT department or company has negotiated the individual connection rates with iPass first.

With BYOD, says iPass, users often run up exhorbitant mobile data bills by automatically connecting to the networks operated by their mobile phone provider, often because there is no readily available WiFi network open to them.

With Open Mobile Express, companies and IT departments can offer their mobile employees an enterprise class WiFi service, with the accompanying security, with no up front costs. It is billed to the end user or their department as and when they use it, as an alternative to more expensive mobile operator networks.

At the same time IT departments can maintain control and support of a hybrid environment of both corporate-owned and employee-owned smartphones and tablets.

"With Open Mobile Express IT departments can negotiate the best WiFi connection rates and enable other departments to take fiscal responsibility for their WiFi network needs," said iPass.

Christophe Culine, senior vice-president and general manager for iPass enterprise, said, “With so many corporate applications now in the cloud, seamless connectivity is essential for employee productivity. Open Mobile Express allows IT to provide other departments the best negotiated connection rates for fast, affordable, global WiFi access."

The iPass WiFi network consists of over 1 million wireless hotspots worldwide. Open Mobile Express is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows-based smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Last month iPass published research that showed many employees are working up to 20 additional hours per week unpaid as a result of BYOD policies adopted by their firms.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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