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Corporate remote access provider iPass this week announced a move into the mobile device management sector after revealing rising Q3 revenue and income.

For the three months to 30 September 2004, iPass realised revenues of $41.9m, up 3.7 per cent on the previous quarter and 19.7 per cent on Q3 2003's $35m. Q3's sales yielded $5.2m (eight cents a share) of net income, up 15.6 per cent sequentially from Q3 2003's $4.5m (seven cents a share) and $4.5m in Q2 2004.

Operating income totalled $8m, up from the previous quarter's figure of $7.2m and the $6.2m recorded for Q3 2003.

During the quarter, iPass saw the number of users accessing its aggregated network of dial-up numbers, Wi-Fi hotpots and wired Ethernet links jump from 415,000 in September 2003 to 526,000 in September 2004, though that figures is down on July 2004's total, 528,000.

Looking ahead, iPass said it expects Q4 to yield earnings of around six cents a share, down from operating earnings of seven cents a share thanks to the cost of acquiring the privately held Safe3w, a provider of device 'fingerprinting' technology which it will use in its Policy Orchestration system - the foundation of the company's evolution from a provider of remote access to effectively offer outsourced extensions to the corporate LAN.

The company also said it has agreed to acquire Mobile Automation, which develops software to allow corporates to centrally manage mobile device assets to ensure they can be used to connect to an enterprise's network securely and keep OS and apps up to date. That's clearly a key component of iPass' Policy Orchestration, particularly as more handheld devices are used to connect back to base rather than laptops. It also ties in to the Safe3w acquisition.

IPass' Q4 forecast does not include the cost of privately held Mobile Automation acquisition, which comes to $20m in cash, to be paid from iPass' reserves. The purchase is expected to be completed by the end of November 2004. ®

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