AT&T is adding more than 900 Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK as part of a global expansion of its Wi-Fi footprint, bringing the total number of Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK to over 11,500. The new hotspots are aimed to make Wi-Fi access more convenient for business travelers. The new UK hotspots are part of nearly 25,000 additional Wi-Fi hotspots in countries across Europe and in China, bringing AT&T's global Wi-Fi footprint to 125,000 in 82 countries.
The additional hotspots will enable AT&T Remote Access enterprise customers to connect to their corporate networks from more locations across Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, the Netherlands, the UK and China. These locations include a variety of popular coffee shops, bookstores, hotels, airports, restaurants and convention centers. The new China hotspots are already activated, and the additional European hotspots will be activated over the next 45 days.
"Our global enterprise customers want to ensure that their employees always have highly-secure, reliable connectivity to their corporate applications and the internet wherever they are - without the hassles of hunting down hotspots and credit card pay-as-you-go," said S. Dale McHenry, vice president, AT&T Enterprise Networking. "Our extensive global WiFi coverage, central corporate billing, and smart laptop client software keeps their employees focused on doing business and eliminates the hassles of staying connected."
The global Wi-Fi expansion comes on the heels of AT&T's recent announcement that it handled nearly 15 million Wi-Fi connections to its U.S. network during the second quarter of 2009 - a 41 percent increase over the first quarter. With approximately 25.6 million connections so far in 2009, AT&T Wi-Fi connections this year have already surpassed the 20 million connections seen in all of 2008.
Additionally, AT&T announced new features that are planned for the AT&T Global Network Client -- the remote access software that creates a gateway for Wi-Fi users to establish a highly-secure, virtual private network (VPN) connection to their corporate enterprises. The enhancements will include:
- Support for connecting to VPNs using IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) endpoints. IPv6 compatibility will become increasingly important as IPv6 addresses are adopted by global internet companies, enterprises, and government agencies.
- A single installation package for all supported languages (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish).
- Improved support for persons with certain visual disabilities.
- Support for Windows 7, Microsoft's latest operating system, upon its release
The AT&T Global Network Client upgrades will be available in the fourth quarter of 2009.
AT&T offers business customers a portfolio of Remote Access Services for connecting to corporate networks via Wi-Fi, cellular data, dial, and other connection points in more than 80 countries. This includes unlimited Wi-Fi access price plans for U.S.-based customers of AT&T Business Internet, AT&T Network-based IP Remote Access (ANIRA) and AT&T Virtual Tunnel Services (AVTS). These services can be used anywhere within AT&T's global footprint and plans are available starting as low as $ 10.00 per user, per month.
Consumers can access AT&T's international hotspot locations with an AT&T Wi-Fi Premier plan for $19.99 a month. In addition to extensive international hotspot locations, AT&T offers customers access to the largest Wi-Fi network in the United States, with more than 20,000 domestic hotspots.