AT&T* today announced it has created an AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in downtown Charlotte, N.C. to enhance the mobile broadband experience for AT&T customers. The large outdoor Wi-Fi hotzone provides coverage along South Brevard Street from the area around the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza to East Trade Street, and for AT&T customers waiting to use the nearby Lynx light rail.
The Charlotte, N.C., AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone is the second to be deployed as part of a pilot project to explore using Wi-Fi to supplement AT&T’s mobile broadband coverage in areas with consistently high 3G traffic and mobile data use. AT&T launched its first pilot Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City’s Times Square in May, and customer usage has been better than expected. AT&T plans to further expand the pilot project with the launch of a third AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in Chicago in the coming weeks.
“Our first AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City has received praise from our customers, and we’re excited to introduce this Wi-Fi solution in Charlotte,” said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services. “Wi-Fi plays a key role in our strategy to mobilize everything that’s important to our customers – including entertainment, news, social networks and business apps. With these pilot AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones, we’re examining new ways to use a combination of our Wi-Fi and 3G networks to deliver the best possible mobile broadband experience.”
The expanded pilot program will allow AT&T to gather more information and customer feedback in order to continue to evaluate the benefits of Wi-Fi hotzones to provide another mobile broadband option for customers. More and more people are choosing to access AT&T’s Wi-Fi network with their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops, netbooks and other devices.
“This is further evidence of our continuing commitment to invest in North Carolina and bring the latest communications technology to this state,” said Cynthia Marshall, president, AT&T North Carolina. “Whether you’re a local business person or a visitor to beautiful downtown Charlotte, AT&T customers can benefit from this fast mobile broadband connection.”
The popularity of Wi-Fi service — particularly on mobile phones — has grown tremendously. In the second quarter 2010, AT&T handled 68.1 million Wi-Fi connections on its network, compared to just 15 million in the same quarter last year. Many of the most popular AT&T smartphones support auto-authentication at AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots, making it automatic and convenient for customers to connect. Customers can log onto AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones and more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots nationwide without it counting toward their monthly smartphone data usage.
AT&T’s Wi-Fi network complements its wired broadband and wireless 3G networks, offering Wi-Fi connectivity at popular locations like retail stores, restaurants and coffee shops from coast-to-coast.For more information on AT&T Wi-Fi and how to connect, visit www.att.com/wifiaccess.