AT&T Tripled Wi-Fi Connections In Q4; Mobile Data Uploads Up 550 Percent In 2011

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On the heels of the news that AT&T delivered its best quarter ever in terms of smartphone sales, the communications company and carrier is releasing its quarterly data on the number of AT&T Wi-Fi connections made in Q4 and in 2011 as a whole.

AT&T says that it tripled Wi-Fi network traffic in 2011 versus network traffic for 2010. And the network saw a 550 percent increase in monthly Wi-Fi data uploads from mobile devices on the AT&T Wi-Fi network in 2011, driven by increasing use of cloud services.

In total, 1.2 billion AT&T Wi-Fi connections were made during 2011, with 486.9 million connections made in the fourth quarter (that’s compared to 301.9 million Wi-Fi connections in Q3 of 2011). And connections more than tripled in the fourth quarter versus 154 million connections made in the fourth quarter 2010.

More than three million connections per day to the AT&T Wi-Fi Network by users, exceeding total connections made in the month of December in 2008. Plus, AT&T says that it saw more than 60 percent growth in AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots from 2008 through 2011.

The massive growth in Wi-Fi connections is due to the growing number of smartphone and tablet users tapping into AT&T networks at hospitality locations, parks, retail stores, stadiums and enterprise businesses. Hotel locations account for approximately 45 percent of the total AT&T Wi-Fi network traffic. And To date, AT&T has launched free Wi-Fi at 19 park locations in New York City. In 2011, New York City parks visitors made more than 1 million connections to the AT&T Wi-Fi network.

AT&T, which offers nearly 30,000 Wi-Fi hot spots and claims to the U.S.’s largest wi-fi network, says most of its smartphone customers get access to the carrier’s Wi-Fi network at no additional cost as part of their plan, and Wi-Fi doesn’t count toward customers’ monthly wireless data usage.