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AT&T Expands Wi-Fi Locations

The company's Wi-Fi footprint has grown by 30% this year to more than 125,000 hotspots in the United States, Europe, and China.

AT&T is trying to make it easier for globetrotters to connect to the Internet on the go, and the company said Tuesday it has added 25,000 new hotspots across Europe and China.

The company now has more than 125,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the globe at places like Starbucks, McDonalds, hotels, airports, bookstores, and other public venues. Thanks to acquisitions and an increased focus on this market, AT&T has increased its global Wi-Fi footprint about 30% since the beginning of the year.

AT&T also announced new features for its enterprise remote access software. These include support for Windows 7, the ability to connect to virtual private networks using Internet Protocol version 6 endpoints, and a single installation for all supported languages. The remote access software is expected to be upgradable in the fourth quarter.

"Our global enterprise customers want to ensure that their employees always have a 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, VP of AT&T enterprise networking, in a statement.

These Wi-Fi hotspots also have the additional benefit of easing congestion on AT&T's mobile data networks because BlackBerry and iPhone users get free access to them. The company is seeing increased interest in public Wi-Fi access for its smartphone subscribers, as AT&T said it had more than 25 million Wi-Fi connections for the first seven months of 2009, which outpaced the 20 million connections for all of 2008. Apple iPhone customers appear to use this service often, particularly after the 3.0 software simplified the log-in process.

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