AT&T today reported that use of its more than 20,000 U.S. WiFi hotspots surged to 53.1 million connections in the first quarter. This is nearly five times higher than the 10.7 million connections made in the first quarter last year.
As AT&T customers increasingly adopt WiFi enabled smartphones and devices, they’re relying more on WiFi hotspots.
At the end of the first quarter, nearly 32 million AT&T customers had WiFi access included with their qualifying smartphone, Internet and 3G LaptopConnect plans. The total number of AT&T broadband connections – which includes both wireline broadband and wireless LaptopConnect cards – grew by 278,000 in the first quarter to reach 17.5 million in service.
Smartphones and other integrated devices account for the majority of connections made on AT&T’s WiFi network. In the first quarter of 2010, 69 percent of WiFi connections were made from smartphones and integrated devices, up from 35 percent a year ago in the first quarter of 2009.