Enterprise connectivity software vendor iPass announced a partnership with mesh-networking equipment maker Tropos Networks to make Tropos' municipal Wi-Fi networks secure and reliable enough for enterprise use.

Metro-scale Wi-Fi networks are becoming increasingly prevalent, but some enterprises' information-technology departments have expressed concerns that the networks are not secure and reliable enough for employees to use to access the VPN. Rick Bilodeau, senior director of corporate marketing at iPass, said iPass has conducted tests to make sure its solution interoperates with Tropos equipment.

The first “enterprise ready” network is Wi-Fi Downtown Pittsburgh, which is operated by US Wireless Online. For iPass customers, getting on the Pittsburgh network is simple, Bilodeau said.

“They let the user in, then they bill us, and we bill the enterprise.”