AT&T is making global Wi-Fi access more convenient for business travelers or remote workers via the addition of nearly 25,000 new Wi-Fi hotspots in countries across Europe and in China. The new locations bring the total of worldwide hotspots available to AT&T users to 125,000, representing a nearly 30 percent expansion of its global Wi-Fi footprint since the beginning of the year.
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 Wi-Fi 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 during the first half of 2009, AT&T Wi-Fi connections had 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 virtual private network (VPN) connection to their corporate enterprises. The enhancements will includes support for Windows 7, support for connecting to VPNs using IPv6 endpoints, a single installation package for all supported languages (English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish), and improved support for persons with certain visual disabilities. The company expects to make the AT&T Global Network Client upgrades 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.