Nokia and iPass are developing client software for Nokia dual-mode phones that will let users connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, the companies announced Wednesday.

Through partnerships with Wi-Fi operators, iPass offers access to about 50,000 hotspots around the world but, so far, client software for the iPass service has only been available for Microsoft Windows and Windows Mobile, as well as for Apple Computer's Mac OS. This is iPass's first client for a smartphone.

The companies will develop a client for Nokia's enterprise handsets which have both cellular and wireless LAN capability, based on the Nokia Series 80 and Series 60 Symbian software platforms. They expect to deliver software for the Nokia 9300i and 9500 Communictor models by summer, which typically means June through August. By the end of this year, they plan to also have clients for Nokia's E-series devices, a line of business phones announced last October.

In addition to hotspots in airports, hotels and other locations, iPass provides Internet connectivity via dial-up, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and wired broadband connections. The service includes security enforcement and centralised policy-based management.