Volvo Information Technology, the IT arm of the Swedish automotive giant, has awarded to iPass a contract for remote/wireless connectivity for 17,000 Volvo Group employees in 175 countries, replacing a previous contract with Verizon.
The Mobile Office service from Redwood Shores, California-based iPass will enable Volvo’s workers to access their corporate network through some 80,000 WiFi hotspots around the world. The iPassConnect laptop client can also be used on wired broadband connections, and a number of 3G mobile and satellite links. In addition, iPass recently joined the WiMAX Forum.
In announcing the deal, iPass said Mobile Office will integrate with all security infrastructure, VPN, and back-end systems at Volvo. The contract is for three years, which is in line with the previous announcement, from June 2004, when it was announced that the connectivity service would be provided by MCI, the network operator later acquired by Verizon Communications.
In moving to iPass from Verizon, a network operator with agreements with WiFi hotspots across the globe, Volvo is trying out the services of a pure-play aggregator for the next three years. It is interesting that the deal comes four months after its archrival in Scandinavia, Scania, announced it was rolling out Mobile Office to an initial 600 employees, with iPass partner Flexible Networks Nordic (FlexiNets) implementing the service and managing it on an ongoing basis.