updated 11:20 am EST, Fri December 12, 2008
AT&T Wraps Wayport Deal
AT&T on Friday said it has successfully closed its buyout out Wayport. The deal hands over control of Wayport's Wi-Fi hotspots and gives AT&T about 20,000 access points within the US and a total of 80,000 worldwide. No mention has been made as to if and when Wayport will switch to using AT&T's official Wi-Fi system and how soon users of either service will have a common billing system.
The extension should ultimately give AT&T subscribers access to wireless Internet service in McDonald's and other locations that have traditionally been Wayport exclusives.
Additionally, AT&T says it is "nearing completion" of its hotspot system within Starbucks, which covers approximately 7,000 of the coffee houses within the US.
Both AT&T's core Wi-Fi network and the Starbucks systems have varying prices depending on the customer's current status with AT&T and ranges from $20 per month for a subscription independent of any service to completely free service for iPhones and users of AT&T's other data services, such as PC adapters or its DSL network.