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AT&T offers free Wi-Fi in New York City

2010-05-25 10:45 by
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AT&T is adding free public Wi-Fi hotspots to help it deal with increasing congestion on its wireless network.

On Tuesday, the company launched a free outdoor wireless hotspot in New York City's Times Square. The pilot program will offer free Wi-Fi access to AT&T wireless and broadband customers using smartphones, laptops and other Wi-Fi enabled devices. AT&T's Wi-Fi network is set up on the north side of Times Square on Seventh Avenue between 45th and 47th Streets.

The program is designed to see how Wi-Fi can help relieve wireless data congestion on AT&T's network. Customers with Wi-Fi enabled devices will connect to the Wi-Fi network instead of AT&T's 3G network to access the Internet or Web-based applications. If all goes well, AT&T said it may expand the offering to other cities.

AT&T, the exclusive carrier in the U.S. for the iPhone, has already been struggling to keep up with demand for data services on its network. The company has reported that due to new devices like the iPhone it's seen mobile data traffic grow on its network 5,000 percent in three years. The extra traffic, particularly in densely populated regions, such as New York City and San Francisco, has caused problems for consumers in the way of dropped calls and slow Net access.

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