DALLAS, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T* is continuing to see significant growth in Wi-Fi connections on its nationwide network. In the third quarter, users made 106.9 million connections on AT&T's U.S. Wi-Fi network, exceeding the total 85.5 million connections made during the entire year in 2009.
The record-breaking third quarter brings the number of AT&T Wi-Fi connections to 228.1 million through the first nine months of 2010. Over the past year, AT&T Wi-Fi use has been increasing significantly each quarter, with third-quarter 2010 connections up more than 320 percent versus third-quarter 2009.
Wi-Fi is seeing tremendous growth from the rapid consumer adoption of Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones and devices and the increasing number of major business locations offering Wi-Fi access for their customers. AT&T operates the nation's largest Wi-Fi network** with more than 23,000 hotspots nationwide.
"We chose to invest in expanding our Wi-Fi footprint and capabilities because early on, we recognized that Wi-Fi technology had numerous applications and far-reaching potential," said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services. "In addition to smartphones, we saw that more and more devices like tablets, eReaders and netbooks were becoming Wi-Fi enabled and realized that Wi-Fi would play a major part in our ability to mobilize everything for our customers. Now, our Wi-Fi services are a significant asset for AT&T and for the consumers and businesses we serve."
Major companies continue to choose AT&T to manage Wi-Fi services for their business operations and public access for their customers — from overseeing network operations and monitoring, to creating unique applications for their customers and more. Since the acquisition of Wayport in 2008, the collective total value of AT&T's signed Wi-Fi customer contracts is approximately $200 million.
Wi-Fi provides a multitude of benefits to businesses, including encouraging customers to lengthen their stays; engaging and connecting with customers through unique apps, offers and content; and improving operational efficiency. For example, FedEx Office recently announced it will offer free Wi-Fi service through AT&T at FedEx Office Print & Ship locations throughout the U.S., and Indiana University has chosen to work with AT&T to provide Wi-Fi access for visitors to the school's Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses.
AT&T also continued expanding its Wi-Fi hotzone pilot project in the third quarter with the launch of two hotzones — in downtown Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago's Wrigleyville, near Wrigley Field. This is in addition to the first AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone launched in New York City's Times Square earlier this year. The hotzone trial is providing valuable insights on how Wi-Fi and 3G technologies can work together to maximize customers' broadband experiences, with better-than-expected customer response and usage at AT&T hotzone locations.
Wi-Fi complements AT&T's wired and mobile broadband networks and plays an important role in the company's strategy to mobilize everything for customers, bridging the gap between connectivity at home and on the go. Customers can visit the AT&T Wi-Fi Access page to view a full list of AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots and helpful videos on how to connect to AT&T Wi-Fi.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See www.attwifi.com for details and locations.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.