Feeds

AT&T ups Wi-Fi ante with Wayport acquisition

20,000 hotspots at home, 80,000 worldwide

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

AT&T has bought up Wi-Fi hotspot provider Wayport for $275m, hugely increasing the number of places that subscribers with an iPhone or Blackberry Bold can get free access.

The companies have worked together before; Wayport provided backhaul and management to AT&T hotspots. But Wayport always focused on providing hotspots in hotels, hospitals and chain-stores, notably McDonalds, carving a niche out for itself - one that AT&T now owns.

This is ironic, given that AT&T was one of the partners in the ill-fated Cometa Networks. Cometa was supposed to fit every McDonalds in America with Wi-Fi back in 2002, but by 2004 the golden arches were being fitted up with Waypoint, leaving Cometa with only 250 locations and an unused logo.

But if someone else succeeds where you've failed the answer is to buy them out - ideally when the economy makes acquisitions cheap. That way you can wait a decade, then paint the whole thing as a coherent plan by merging the projects together in history.

ABI Research, commenting on the deal, points out that while AT&T customers with their Blackberry Bold handsets will get free Wi-Fi, those who switch to Verizon for a Blackberry Storm won't even have Wi-Fi connectivity.

Including roaming locations this gives AT&T 80,000 hotspots around the world, assuming those roaming deals make the transition from Wayport. However, it's still debatable how useful Wi-Fi is on a phone. In areas with decent 3G coverage the hotspot model is largely redundant. The greater speed is hard to exploit on a mobile phone screen, but where coverage is less ubiquitous there is still room for Wi-Fi. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?