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07-28-2010, 11:51 AM #1
AT&T Working Around 3G Issues with WiFi "Hotzones"
AT&T has announced that they've set up their second "WiFi Hotzone," part of a pilot project to redirect network traffic from the company's overburdened 3G network, in the downtown area of Charlotte, North Carolina. The free (for customers) network follows the first such hotzone set up in Times Square in Manhattan, with a third zone to be coming to Chicago "in the coming weeks." The carrier's plan is to ultimately be able to support as many as 68 million connections on their WiFi networks.
With upwards of 32 million customers nationwide with compatible smartphones or LaptopConnect cards, AT&T is pursuing the hotzone project in an effort to reduce data throughput demands on the 3G network in the busiest cities in the US. It's much easier and cheaper to augment WiFi coverage than it is to add more cell towers, and with higher potential throughput the carrier clearly feels its customers will appreciate the speed boost. “Our first AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City has received praise from our customers," said Angie Wiskocil, the senior vice president of AT&T Wi-Fi Services, "and we’re excited to introduce this Wi-Fi solution in Charlotte.”
One caveat for iPhone users is that allowing your phone to auto-connect to AT&T's default attwifi SSID exposes them to a potential vulnerability that was identified by researcher Samy Kamkar earlier this year. There is a kludge in iOS that disables MAC address checking for the attwifi SSID only, so that iPhones can automagically connect to AT&T hotspots and hotzones wherever they may be. As a result, however, anyone can set up a malicious WiFi access point posing as an AT&T network, and a user would never know if their communications were being intercepted, or if they were being redirected to malware sites.
The Charlotte hotzone extends along South Brevard Street from the area surrounding the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza to East Trade Street. The hotzone can also be accessed by AT&T customers who are waiting at Lynx light rail stations. In addition to Chicago, AT&T has indicated that San Francisco's financial district will soon get its own hotzone as part of the rollout of the pilot program.
07-28-2010, 12:03 PM #2
Somehow i don't think this will help. Sure wifi is easy to implement and roll out, but Apple/ATT will have to fix that security hole, or anyone with a laptop familiar with this 'sploit would be able to sit there and grab TONS of info from passersby.
Would love to see how much this is costing them vs. improving the network bandwidth. Starting to wonder if WiMAX isn't such a bad idea after all too.
Last edited by reanimationxp; 07-28-2010 at 12:06 PM.Anybody want a 32GB Mint Condition Black JB Unlocked 3GS? PM me with offers.
07-28-2010, 12:11 PM #3
Why Charlotte?Name? whereswaldo
iDevice + Firmware? 32GB Black iPhone 4 iOS 5.0
Computer + OS? Dell Inspiron 15R 2nd Gen i5, 2.3 Ghz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM Windows 7 HP
Found yet? No
07-28-2010, 12:15 PM #4
edited - removedPrevious Phone: AT&T Tilt
Rom:Phoenix3 Win6.5 -Also Running Android 1.5-
Location: Rhode Island
07-28-2010, 12:23 PM #5
Wow! AT&T is claiming their network is crippled and overloaded in certain area and then I read articles like this from Engadget where they're taking on even more smartphones.
Awesome job AT&T! Why not consider investing some of those profits into network upgrades to handle the traffic, eh? No that'd just be smart
07-28-2010, 12:34 PM #6
yea im not big on connecting to wifi hotspots that i dont know who they are for sure, AT&T definitely should fix this
07-28-2010, 12:42 PM #7
07-28-2010, 12:57 PM #8
Exactly what I was thinking...this is basically just a band aid for them that's all.
07-28-2010, 01:01 PM #9
I think it's a great idea, very smart. AT&T is spending billions improving their network, these wifi spots will improve 3G performance for everyone, giving AT&T the time needed to make network upgrades. Don't know why every is so negative about this. Other than the security issue, I think this is a great idea... Good for AT&T, good for customers.
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07-28-2010, 01:02 PM #10
07-28-2010, 01:04 PM #11
07-28-2010, 01:27 PM #12
07-28-2010, 01:28 PM #13
07-28-2010, 01:41 PM #14
What about giving 3G to the areas that only have edge instead of improving the areas that have 3G. This would equal more sales. Alot people in my area don't use smart phones because of this.
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07-28-2010, 02:05 PM #15
07-28-2010, 02:12 PM #16
Every little bit helps, more lanes on the info highway. I'm always seeking wifi to save on my data plan. They are everywhere.
07-28-2010, 02:50 PM #17
07-28-2010, 02:54 PM #18
07-28-2010, 03:17 PM #19
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Funny I just found myself near Downtown L.A. with no reception/3G/Edge. I wasn't even around tall buildings. Bummer.
07-28-2010, 04:23 PM #20