AT&T is adding a few more cities to its Wi-Fi Hotzone Pilot Project as it continues to bring the joy of wireless Internet to the masses. This means AT&T customers will have plenty of coverage outdoors in certain areas where they just might need it most. The first city was New York City where AT&T lit up Times Square with Wi-Fi where usage has apparently done quite well on top of alleviating its 3G network there, too. The next lucky city is Charlotte, NC as the wireless provider will be lighting up the area around the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza to East Trade Street. It’s perfect for users who are also waiting for the Lynx rail and wanting to get a little work done.
In addition to Charlotte, Chicago, IL is also getting the Hotzone treatment from AT&T. While Charlotte is already live, Chicago is still in the works, but AT&T is promising that it will be available “in the coming weeks.”
You might be asking yourself, “What’s the point of providing Wi-Fi in small areas of big cities? Why not blanket the entire town?” AT&T says that it is covering the areas that see the heaviest 3G mobile data usage so that its wireless network might see a little relief. And so far, in the case of NYC, it’s working.
“Wi-Fi plays a key role in our strategy to mobilize everything that’s important to our customers – including entertainment, news, social networks and business apps. With these pilot AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones, we’re examining new ways to use a combination of our Wi-Fi and 3G networks to deliver the best possible mobile broadband experience,” says Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services.
Aside from keeping its network from being hevily strained, this is also good news for newer AT&T Wireless customers who have 2GB data caps on Wi-Fi capable devices. Instead of using up the allotted data on their plans, they can take advantage of using Wi-Fi instead. On the whole, data transmitted via Wi-Fi is usually a little faster, too.