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25
Jan
2012

AT&T launches WiFi Hotzone for Super Sunday!

POSTED BY Global Administrator
AT&T announced yesterday that it had launched a new, outdoor Wi-Fi hotzone in Indianapolis as part of network improvements being made in anticipation of the Super Bowl being held there on February 5. Now for those who are unaware about AT&T’s ‘hotzones’: AT&T offers its customers with qualifying data plans  unlimited access to the AT&T owned WiFi Hotspots or partner sites such as at Starbucks, at no additional cost. AT&T’s Wi-Fi network includes nearly 29,000 hotspots nationwide and more than 190,000 hotspots globally through roaming agreements. It is instructive to look at the business aspect of providing WiFi hotspot service to customers. To begin with, the end user is not charged for connectivity, when usage is regional.  Customers enjoy a better user experience even within buildings and at other facilities such as the football ground.  This in turn provides the opportunity to deliver certain specific services such as local country news, sports and television, to the consumer when he or she is roaming, and thence gain additional revenue apart from the regular access fees. One interesting aspect of this business model worth noting is that it improves the operator’s business relationships with companies such as McDonald’s and Starbucks on whose properties the hotspots are located. As I have mentioned previously, WiFi is a complementary solution and operators look set to continue to use it: in tandem with 4G LTE, it should provide a comprehensive mobile broadband experience for the customers. But will this allow their customers to manage their data consumption and data plans more effectively? Probably yes, as operators are increasingly moving towards tiered price plans. For now, the 150,000 plus people looking forward to attending the big ‘football’ game on Super Bowl Sunday can be on their mobile phones tweeting updates live and not crash the network…