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AT&T Sees Surge in Wi-Fi Connections

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AT&T has reported dramatic growth in the number of Wi Fi users and connections. The US firm reported Wi Fi connections totaled 10.5 million in the first quarter of 2009 more than triple the 3.4 million connections in the first quarter of 2008, and more than half AT&T's 20 million total Wi Fi connections for all of 2008.

The company says that the usage surge was driven by growth in AT&T's wired and wireless broadband customer base, the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled devices and the transition of Starbucks locations to AT&T's Wi-Fi footprint. In the first quarter, Wayport - which AT&T acquired in December 2008 - began operating as AT&T Wi-Fi Services. Wayport's footprint included hotspot locations in retail, hospitality and healthcare venues.

AT&T broadband connections - including wireline and wireless LaptopConnect cards - grew by 471,000 in the first quarter to reach 16.7 million in service. AT&T provides Wi-Fi access at no extra charge with qualifying AT&T high speed Internet plans, 3G LaptopConnect plans and select smartphone plans.

More than 4 million connections at AT&T's U.S. Hot Spots in the first quarter were made with smartphones, including the iPhone 3G. AT&T is a leading provider of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones.

"Our customers are showing us that they value both speed and mobility in their broadband connections," said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president - AT&T Wi-Fi Services. "As the leading U.S. provider of wired broadband services, with the fastest 3G network and the largest Wi-Fi network, AT&T can deliver a better experience for our customers where they live and work."

AT&T's Wi-Fi network complements its wired broadband and wireless 3G networks with Wi-Fi connectivity in nearly 20,000 hotspots in the U.S. - including retail stores, restaurants and airports from coast-to-coast - and access to more than 80,000 global hotspots through our roaming agreements.

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