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AT&T Reports Tripling Of Wi-Fi Traffic in 2011

Dallas-based AT&T is reporting this week that its Wi-Fi network traffic tripled in 2011, as it saw 3.2 billion customer connections into its 30,000 Wi-Fi hot spots. The firm said that the boost in traffic came due to a surge in the use of smartphones, tablets, and other devices. In Q4, the firm reported 486.9M connections into the network, up from only 154M connections made in the fourth quarter of 2010. The Wi-Fi traffic surge is not surprising, as AT&T has been encouraging its subscribers to connect via its hotspots, instead of using its often overtaxed mobile data network. AT&T does not charge its subscribers for access to its many Wi-Fi hotspots, and data transfers on those networks do not count against AT&T's monthly wireless data limits. AT&T said it has also been deploying its free Wi-FI hotzones in high traffic areas, such as Palo Alto, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City.