AT&T Reports Significant Jump in Number of WiFi Hotspots, Points to Smartphone Sales as Key Driving Factor

AT&T, which operates the nation's largest WiFi network with more than 20,000 U.S. hotspots, today reported a significant second-quarter increase in the number of WiFi connections on the AT&T network, fueled by the rising number of customers with WiFi enabled smartphones. 

In the second quarter, AT&T handled nearly 15 million WiFi connections on its network, a 41 percent increase over the first quarter. With approximately 25.6 million connections so far in 2009, AT&T WiFi connections this year have already surpassed the 20 million connections seen in all of 2008.

Additionally, the number of customers with WiFi access as part of their AT&T service continues to grow. AT&T broadband connections, which include both wireline broadband and wireless LaptopConnect cards, grew by 209,000 in the second quarter to reach 16.9 million in service. AT&T includes unlimited WiFi access with qualifying AT&T High Speed Internet plans, 3G LaptopConnect plans and with select smartphone plans.

In the second quarter, 49 percent of the total connections were made by integrated devices. This is an increase of 41 percent over the first quarter 2009, a significant shift that tracks with the growth of WiFi enabled devices.

AT&T investing in WiFi network
Since the beginning of the year, AT&T quadrupled its WiFi network authentication capacity in preparation for increased sessions, the ongoing rise in consumer demand for Wi-Fi, and to ensure reliable performance on the network.

Also in the second quarter, AT&T made several WiFi enhancements and formed strategic relationships including smartphone-friendly upgrades to the Giants Digital Dugout WiFi portal at AT&T Park in San Francisco, which serve to enhance the fan experience at Giants home games.

AT&T's WiFi network complements its wired broadband and wireless 3G networks, offering WiFi connectivity in more than 20,000 hotspots in the U.S., including restaurants, airports and retail locations from coast-to-coast.
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