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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

May 25, 2010

AT&T Launches WiFi Zone in NYC's Time Square

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

If you are a New Yorker or New York visitor looking for WiFi and the local Starbucks is packed, you can now tap into AT&T's (News - Alert) "hot zone" in the city's renowned Times Square.

AT&T today announced the launch of an AT&T Wi-Fi area, providing coverage for AT&T customers visiting and residing in New York who use Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops, netbooks and other devices.

Company officials said the new Wi-Fi coverage zone is a pilot deployment to explore the use of Wi-Fi to provide an additional mobile broadband option in areas with consistently high 3G traffic and mobile data use.

In addition, AT&T has installed Wi-Fi service in the north central part of Times Square, near 7th Avenue between 45th and 47th Street, to provide a large outdoor hotspot zone that AT&T users can access using any Wi-Fi enabled device. According to company officials, the AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone at Times Square is available at no additional charge for nearly 32 million AT&T customers with qualifying smartphone, 3G LaptopConnect and AT&T High Speed Internet plans.

The popularity of Wi-Fi service particularly on mobile phones has grown tremendously. In the first quarter, AT&T handled 53.1 million Wi-Fi connections on its network, which is nearly five times higher than the same quarter last year, company officials said.

According to AT&T officials, in the first quarter of 2010, the majority of AT&T Wi-Fi connections (69 percent) were made from smartphones and integrated devices, up from 35 percent a year ago in the first quarter of 2009.

In related news,  according to reports, for any consumer that purchases the iPhone (News - Alert) and its accompanying contract from service provider AT&T, there will be a big cancellation fee if they decide the service and its smartphone is not for them. Starting June 1, AT&T has raised its cancellation fee - including the iPhone - to the whopping $325 amount, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications (News - Alert)" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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