AT&T Plans Wi-Fi "Hotzone" for Chicago

AT&T tested a similar site in New York City

By Kate Allt
|  Monday, Jul 26, 2010  |  Updated 12:15 PM CDT
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Irritated AT&T users will soon find a reprieve from the frustration of dropped calls and terrible service.

AT&T plans to launch a Wi-Fi “hotzone” in the city to help alleviate the burden on its 3G network. AT&T tested the "hotzone" concept in New York’s Time Square with much success, according to a press release.

“With these pilot AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones, we’re examining new ways to use a combination of our Wi-Fi and 3G networks to deliver the best possible mobile broadband experience,” AT&T Wi-Fi services vice president Angie Wiskocil said in the release. “AT&T customers can benefit from this fast mobile broadband connection.”

AT&T already offers their Wi-Fi service at McDonald’s, Barnes and Noble and Starbucks locations, but the new program offers the network in a heavily trafficked area, such as near public transportation stops or tourist attractions.

Despite hype over the newly released iPhone 4, many consumers gave the product a big thumbs down and Apple called a press conference to discuss technical issues. Apple CEO Steve Jobs suggested iPhone customers frustrated with the phone's flaws return it.

But the hotzone project received positive reviews in New York and could change the dismal dropped call rate. If all goes well, iPhone users in Chicago could be in store for a shock -- the phone might actually work.

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