AT&T reported dramatic growth in the number of Wi-Fi users and connections. AT&T 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 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.
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.
The number and type of Wi-Fi enabled devices continues to grow. In January, Sony introduced the world's first Wi-Fi enabled digital camera with a built-in web browser and complimentary access to AT&T's Wi-Fi network. AT&T is also offering wirelessly embedded mini laptops - the Acer Aspire One, Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Mini 12, and LG Xenia -- in select AT&T store trial promotions in Atlanta and Philadelphia. 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, including the BlackBerry® Bold®.
In the first quarter, Wayport Inc. - 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**.
"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. Network availability, speed and the expanding list of devices help drive data usage.