AT&T announced it will acquire WiFi operator Wayport for about $275 million in cash, boosting the number of AT&T-owned hotspots to approximately 20,000 from 17,000.
Not only does the acquisition give AT&T a greater footprint but offers some cost-savings for AT&T too since Wayport had a roaming deal with AT&T to allow its subscriber base to access its hotspots. AT&T offers free WiFi to to its fixed broadband, 3G, iPhone and certain BlackBerry customers.
"We're seeing exponential growth of WiFi-enabled devices -- such as smartphones -- combined with a continued dependency on 24/7, anytime, anywhere Internet access across business and consumer market segments," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations, in a statement. "Now is the right time for AT&T to affirm our commitment to WiFi leadership."
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