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Infonet picks Boingo to host corporate Wi-Fi services

Takes minority stake too

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US Wi-Fi hotspot aggregator Boingo today followed up its tie-in with UK-based WLAN provider The Cloud with two further partnerships.

Dutch WLAN company PicoPoint has added its 75 hotspots in Europe, Middle East and Africa to Boingo's aggregated network. The number is small - particularly compared to The Cloud's contribution of 2000-odd hotspots - but is still helps Boingo extend its reach into continental Europe and beyond.

The second deal is more significant. Managed network provider Infonet will add Boingo's network to its own, providing its multinational customers with international Wi-Fi access. In return, Infonet has taken a minority stake in Boingo. The extent of that investment was not made public.

Both companies will develop client-side software to provide secure access to corporate LANs via any Boingo-backed hotspot, no matter which provider actually owns the Wi-Fi zone.

Interestingly, Infonet has a licensing deal with Togewanet, which offers WeRoam, a software product that allows mobile phone network operators to link Wi-Fi usage with their customers by using subscribers' phone SIM cards for network authentication and access. The Cloud yesterday said that it has licensed the Togewanet product too.

Boingo will provide Infonet with back-end billing systems - which presumably operate alongside the WeRoam functionality built into Infonet's MobileXpress system - so it can seek appropriate recompense from its enterprise customers when employees utilise Boingo hotspots. ®

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