AT&T Wi-Fi network connections continue to increase sharply, exceeding 2.7 billion in 2012, more than double that for 2011. AT&T has more than 32,000 Wi-Fi Hot Spot locations up and running around the country, according to a February 26 press release.

“Wi-Fi works in tandem with our global network to keep people connected wherever they are. By providing this must-have connectivity at all types of locations, businesses can bring added value to the customer experience,” Josh Goodell, associate vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services, commented. “With connectivity to our Wi-Fi Network skyrocketing in 2012 by more than 1 billion connections year-over-year, Wi-Fi is a clear factor in mobile use, driving purchase decisions to enriched hospitality, fan and travel experiences.”

AT&T offered up some key facts regarding its Wi-Fi network for 2012:

  • AT&T’s Wi-Fi footprint grew 10 percent in 2012 with connections to venues growing by nearly 200 percent in the past year.
  • 3X more mobile device traffic exchanged on the Wi-Fi network soaring over 5.2 billion MB in 2012.
  • 40 percent more connections made in 4Q12 from mobile smartphone and tablet devices compared to 4Q11.
  • 190 percent increase in mobile data uploads on the AT&T Wi-Fi network quarter-over-quarter.

Zooming in on particular Wi-Fi market segments, AT&T also offered some insight into Wi-Fi usage among its retail and hospitality customers.

More than 7 billion minutes were spent connected to AT&T Wi-Fi retail locations, with each lasting an average 45 minutes. That’s providing a boost to revenue and earnings at retail venues “while satisfying a necessity – a reliable connection for customers and employees,” AT&T noted.

Hotels, meanwhile, added AT&T Wi-Fi in more than 95,000 guest rooms in 2012, an increase of more than 225%.

With its more than 32,000 hotspots, AT&T operates the largest Wi-Fi network in the nation. Adding in roaming agreements, AT&T provides Internet access to more than 402,000 hotspots globally, according to the company.