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Mobile Connectivity Costs North American and European Businesses at Least $2.91B Per Year

iPass report highlights lack of visibility businesses have into connectivity costs; Shows how free Wi-Fi is costing businesses both time and money

REDWOOD SHORES, California, September 20, 2016 – iPass Inc. (NASDAQ: IPAS), the leading provider of global mobile connectivity, has today released the findings of its Mobile Connectivity Cost Index 2016, in conjunction with Rethink Technology Research. The report reveals that the direct and indirect costs related to mobile connectivity through cellular roaming, pay-on-demand Wi-Fi and free Wi-Fi, is costing North American and European businesses at least $2.91 billion per year. These costs result from mobile professionals’ insatiable need for connectivity and growing data consumption; mobile professionals in 2016 are estimated to be using on average 6GB of data per month when travelling and working “on the go.”

“Connectivity has never been more important.  Whether mobile professionals are trying to be productive by day or connect to friends and family by night, there is a tangible need to be connected all the time,” said Patricia Hume, chief commercial officer of iPass. “The direct and indirect costs of keeping mobile professionals connected are more than many businesses realize, highlighting the need for businesses to have greater visibility into their employees’ data usage. Cost-effective and secure connectivity is paramount, yet free Wi-Fi does not provide the simplicity and convenience that today’s mobile professionals require.”

The cost of ‘free’ Wi-Fi

The last 12 months has seen the continued growth of ‘free’ Wi-Fi. However, for many businesses, the term remains misleading. Free Wi-Fi connections are often slow, which prevent business applications from working properly, while also restricting the number of devices that can connect.  If you add this to the time mobile professionals spend seeking out and signing up to free Wi-Fi services, the negative impact on productivity soon adds up. The report suggests that the loss in productivity from free Wi-Fi can cost businesses between $767 and $1,159 per mobile professional each month, dependent on their location and destination.

North America v Europe – who fares best?

The cost of connectivity varies for mobile professionals across both Europe and North America depending on the methods they use. Key findings from the report include:

  • When connecting predominantly via cellular, North American mobile professionals travelling internationally incur costs of $205 – $1,459 per month. French mobile professionals were the most negatively impacted when travelling outside of Europe, incurring costs of $1,371 – $2,059 per month. In comparison, costs for UK mobile professionals were $155 – $1,124 per month, and costs for German mobile professionals were $350 – $1,241.
  • When predominantly using cellular services within Europe, it would cost UK mobile professionals between $101 – $184 per month. In France and Germany, the costs were $85 – $348 and $122 – $172, respectively.
  • When it came to purchasing Wi-Fi on demand, UK mobile professionals incurred the greatest costs, using such services both inside ($190) and outside of Europe ($196) each month. For French mobile professionals, the costs were $152 and $179 each month; for German mobile professionals, it was $160 and $170 each month. Overall, North American mobile professionals fared better: it cost them $148 to use Wi-Fi on demand domestically and $149 outside the US each month.

“Although the costs of cellular roaming have been reduced, particularly in Europe, they still remain substantial when the amount of data used by a mobile professional is taken into account. Furthermore, piecemeal payment for Wi-Fi becomes expensive very quickly, and critically fails to provide the simplicity and convenience that users crave. Business leaders need to understand the value of providing secure, reliable and cost-effective connectivity. This means ensuring their mobile workforce is connected via the right means, at any given time or location,” said Peter White, Principal Analyst and Founder, Rethink Technology Research.


About iPass Inc.

iPass (NASDAQ: IPAS) is the leading provider of global mobile connectivity, offering simple, secure, always-on Wi-Fi access on any mobile device. Built on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, the iPass cloud-based service keeps its customers connected by providing unlimited Wi-Fi connectivity on unlimited devices. iPass is the world’s largest Wi-Fi network, with more than 57 million hotspots in more than 120 countries, at airports, hotels, train stations, convention centers, outdoor venues, inflight, and more. Using patented technology, the iPass SmartConnect™ platform takes the guesswork out of Wi-Fi, automatically connecting customers to the best hotspot for their needs. Customers simply download the iPass app to experience unlimited, everywhere, and invisible Wi-Fi.

iPass® is a registered trademark of iPass Inc. Wi-Fi® is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Media contacts:


Kewal Varia
Spark Communications
Tel: 020 7436 0420


Lewis Goldberg
KCSA Strategic Communications
Tel: 212.682.6300