AT&T launches WiFi initiative with new zones in Times Square, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral

AT&T has promised to launch several new WiFi spots in the coming months, and it's starting off with new zones of connectivity in New York's Times Square, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral -- all major tourist traps. Times Square already boasts free AT&T WiFi (launched in May) but it's making the area larger as part of its new initiative. The company has also announced that it plans to launch free WiFi spots in San Francisco as well, starting with the Embarcadero Center, sometime later this year. The embellished Times Square WiFi and the two new zones will launch "in the coming days," which we know isn't very specific but hey: it's the best we can do. Full press release is after the break.

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AT&T Launches Major Wi-Fi Initiative to Deploy More Hotzones in Key Markets

Program Kicks-Off With Expanded AT&T Wi-Fi Hotzone in New York's Times Square and New Locations Near Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral; San Francisco Hotzone Coming Soon

DALLAS, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a successful pilot program, AT&T* today announced plans to expand its deployment of AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones to additional locations in major markets, starting with the expansion of its existing Times Square Wi-Fi hotzone and new hotzones near Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral. In addition, AT&T plans to launch its next Wi-Fi hotzone in San Francisco's popular Embarcadero Center.

Earlier this year, AT&T deployed Wi-Fi hotzones in New York City's Times Square, downtown Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago's Wrigleyville as part of its pilot project to explore using Wi-Fi to supplement mobile broadband in urban areas with consistently high mobile broadband use. In just a few months during the pilot, AT&T customers made more than 350,000 connections at the three hotzones.

"Our initial AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones have received great customer response and supported high data traffic," said John Donovan, AT&T chief technology officer. "The pilot demonstrated the clear benefits of having fast and readily-available Wi-Fi options for our customers and our network, and so we have decided to deploy hotzones in more locations."

"We're excited to start the next phase of our hotzone program with additional Wi-Fi coverage areas in New York City and, soon, in San Francisco," said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services. "AT&T Wi-Fi will be available across a wider area for Manhattan residents, visitors and New Year's Eve revelers during the busy holiday season and beyond. Plus, San Francisco residents are expected to soon be able to enjoy a Wi-Fi hotzone in the Embarcadero Center area as they shop, dine and work."

The larger Times Square hotzone will now cover the north central part of Times Square along 7th Avenue, east along 46th Street, and along Broadway. New hotzones near Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral are planned to launch in the coming days.

Hotzones enhance the broadband experience for AT&T customers who use Wi-Fi enabled devices. Wi-Fi hotzones provide another fast and reliable way for customers to stay connected from their mobile devices, adding data network capacity in high traffic areas. AT&T customers with qualifying wireless data, LaptopConnect and AT&T High Speed Internet plans get unlimited access to AT&T hotzones at no additional cost.

AT&T is using wireless technologies to mobilize everything that's important to customers - their favorite content, apps, entertainment and social networks. AT&T today delivers the nation's fastest mobile broadband experience nationwide as well as the nation's largest Wi-Fi network**, giving customers the best combination of speed and coverage.

The popularity of Wi-Fi continues to grow as more and more consumers adopt Wi-Fi enabled devices and experience the convenience and speed of a Wi-Fi connection. In the third quarter 2010, AT&T handled 106.9 million Wi-Fi connections on its network, exceeding the total 85.5 million connections made during the entire year in 2009.

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 use AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones and more than 23,000 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 and mobile broadband 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

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

** Largest based on company branded and operated hotspots. Access includes AT&T Wi-Fi Basic. A Wi-Fi enabled device required. Other restrictions apply. See for details and locations.