AT&T rolls out free wi-fi in New York City for iPhone users to alleviate 3G congestion

Tue, May 25, 2010


Looking to alleviate some of the well-documented 3G issues in big cities, AT&T today announced plans to roll out a free Wi-Fi network in Times Square accessible to all iPhone owners. Data on the wi-fi network will be unlimited, and similar initiatives may soon be rolled out to other cities if the initiative proves to be successful.

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. 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.

Recently, AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph De La Vega lamented AT&T’s continued inability to sufficiently address network issues in big cities such as New York and San Francisco, despite having invested billions to beef up network infrastructure.

To that end, AT&T acknowledges that the program is a means to help alleviate some of the networks congested 3G traffic, a lot of which comes from data hungry iPhone users. The rollout of AT&T’s new wi-fi network comes two weeks before Apple is expected to introduce the next-generation iPhone which, by all accounts, will come equipped with a front facing camera for video conferencing. That being the case, and with bandwidth demands certain to increase, AT&T is clearly trying to minimize any bandwidth issues before they arise – at least in the Big Apple.

via PR Newswire


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1 Comments For This Post

  1. KindredMac Says:

    I can almost guarantee that iChatAV on the next iPhone will be limited to WiFi only use. AT&T’s 3G has no hopes of being fast enough to handle AV interaction like that.

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