Enterprise connectivity software vendor iPass this week 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.

“It’s a good partnership,” Bilodeau said. “Tropos is a leader in providing equipment to municipalities, and we’re a leader in providing enterprise connectivity.”

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

“From the user’s point of view, the big benefit of iPass is that there’s one user name and one password to use to get into any of these networks,” he said. “They let the user in, then they bill us, and we bill the enterprise.”

Given the fact that iPass customers in the Pittsburgh area include large enterprises such as Mellon Financial, GNC and Heinz, US Wireless Online is optimistic about the partnership.

“User adoption is key for our network projects, and businesspeople are a key audience that WiFi Downtown Pittsburgh must serve well to succeed,” US Wireless Online CTO Timothy J. Pisula said in a prepared statement. “Partnering with iPass gives WiFi Downtown Pittsburgh a turnkey method for expanding the reach of its network quickly with no additional cost and validates our strategic commitment to making our network open to third-party providers.”