updated 11:10 am EST, Thu November 6, 2008
ATT Picks up Wayport
AT&T on Thursday said it was buying Wi-Fi provider Wayport in a bid to significantly expand the footprint of AT&T-owned hotspots. The move gives the carrier a total of almost 20,000 access points within the US that include McDonald's restaurants as well as Four Seasons, Marriott Vacation Club and Wyndham hotels. It also boosts AT&T's presence outside of the US to over 80,000 total connections.
The company explains its buyout as important to giving more access to its own customers in particular, many of whom get free connections for their existing service. This includes both the recently re-launched iPhone Wi-Fi feature as well as other smartphones, PC cards and subscribers to AT&T's DSL or U-verse landline service that also have notebooks.
The company doesn't say how quickly it intends to complete transitioning Wayport networks to their place under the AT&T banner, but hopes to get approval for the acquisition as early as this fall.