AT&T expanded its Wi-Fi footprint Nov. 6 with the acquisition of privately held Wayport. The $275 million cash deal expands AT&T's domestic Wi-Fi hotspots to more than 20,000 locations.
Wayport, of Irving, Texas, operates hotspots at McDonald's restaurants, select Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club and Four Seasons hotels and HealthSouth and Sun Healthcare locations. Wayport already provides back-office management for AT&T's Wi-Fi hotspots.
"We're seeing exponential growth of Wi-Fi-enabled devices -- such as smart phones -- combined with a continued dependency on 24/7, anytime, anywhere Internet access across business and consumer market segments," John Stankey, president and CEO of AT&T Operations, said in a statement. "By acquiring Wayport, we're giving consumers more ways to stay in touch and building a more robust network management solution for businesses. We're bringing ready access to the nation's leading Wi-Fi, wireless and IP networks -- on a global scale."
AT&T said the combined company would be able to deliver a more cost-effective and streamlined solution for enterprises by providing more access to end-user applications. With both the back-office infrastructure and end-user content application managed by one company, AT&T said, businesses can reduce operating costs, customize their customers' experience and reach more customers in new ways.
Wayport Chairman and CEO Dave Vucina said the acquisition by AT&T will take the company's "strength in delivering Wi-Fi solutions over converged networks to an entirely new level."
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.