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Online Tool Calculates Wireless Connection Costs

IPass says its product helps manage Wi-Fi retail vouchers, Internet day passes provided by hotels, and cellular subscriptions, including 3G.

IPass, a provider of a global remote access network, on Tuesday launched an online tool that helps businesses get a better handle on their wireless connectivity costs.

The new tool, called Mobility Expense Calculator, can be used to determine a company's wireless connectivity expenses, such as hidden costs in Wi-Fi retail vouchers, Internet day passes provided by hotels, and cellular subscriptions, including 3G.

"Mobility can be a double-edged sword. It provides increased flexibility on one hand, but opens companies up to increased cost and risk on the other," said Joel Wachtler, VP of marketing and strategy at iPass, in a statement.

The Mobility Expense Calculator consists of a questionnaire that asks companies to provide answers about their mobile workforces and expenses. IPass then provides an estimate based on its in-depth understanding of mobile usage patterns, categorized by different user types and access prices in various geographies, the company said.

IPass encourages companies using the calculator to run it multiple times with different inputs to get the most accurate estimate of expenses.

In its recent Wi-Fi Hotspot Index, iPass found that usage of Wi-Fi hotspots by traveling businesspeople increased by 68% between the second half of last year and the first half of this year.

It also found that businesspeople are connecting over Wi-Fi for longer periods of time. For example, the average daily usage of Wi-Fi increased 25% to 85 minutes in the first half of this year, up from 70 minutes in the second half of last year.

Airports are the most popular places for business travelers to connect, according to iPass. Airports accounted for 56% of the total sessions, while hotels accounted for 30% of the total sessions, making them the second most popular place for Wi-Fi connections.

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