AT&T* today reported a significant second-quarter increase in the number of connections on the AT&T Wi-Fi network, fueled by the rising number of customers with Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and devices, as well as an increasing number of businesses and venues offering Wi-Fi access for their customers.
In the second quarter, AT&T handled 68.1 million connections on its public Wi-Fi network — up from 15 million connections in the second quarter of 2009. Customers have made 121.2 million connections in the first half of 2010, already far surpassing the 85.5 million connections made in all of 2009. Wi-Fi usage has seen steady and significant growth each quarter, including a nearly 30 percent increase from the first to second quarter of 2010.
As further evidence that the growth of Wi-Fi usage on AT&T's network is accelerating, in 2008, customers made nearly 20 million connections on the AT&T Wi-Fi network during the course of the entire year. AT&T Wi-Fi connections reached that same milestone in the first half of 2009 and that level was passed in just the first five weeks of 2010.
Wi-Fi plays an important role in AT&T’s strategy to mobilize everything for customers, complementing our wired and 3G wireless networks and bridging the gap between connectivity at home and on the go. AT&T owns and operates the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network, with more than 20,000 U.S. hotspots at popular locations like retail stores, restaurants and coffee shops.
“The extraordinary growth in Wi-Fi usage is yet another indication of customers’ reliance on mobile broadband and of the many benefits that venues receive by making Wi-Fi available to their customers and employees,” said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services. “We’re proud that our AT&T Wi-Fi network delivers the convenient locations, speed and quality to keep so many customers connected to what matters most to them.”
AT&T is also exploring new uses of Wi-Fi to provide an additional mobile broadband option in areas with consistently high 3G traffic and mobile data use. In the second quarter, AT&T deployed a pilot Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City’s Times Square to help AT&T customers stay connected in one of the busiest locations in the world. AT&T plans to deploy additional hotzones in other areas across the country soon.
Wi-Fi has become a must-have amenity for many venues, including hotels, where many travelers make the decision on where to stay based on Wi-Fi availability. Hilton Worldwide recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with AT&T for a fully-managed suite of Wi-Fi and Internet services across more than 3,200 properties in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Customers can visit www.att.com/wifiaccess to view a full list of AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots, as well as helpful online videos showing how to connect to AT&T Wi-Fi.
In addition to AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots, Wi-Fi is also a convenient way to connect to the Internet at home or in the office where available. All AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet customers receive a wireless access point or router with their installation, and AT&T DSL customers have their option of a wireless gateway. On average, AT&T ships approximately 600,000 wireless routers per quarter to new customers, making it possible for customers to connect their smartphone or any Wi-Fi enabled device to their fast home broadband connection.