'

AT&T completes Wayport purchase; Almost done with Starbucks Wi-Fi rollout

AT&T said Friday that it has closed its Wayport acquisition, which allows it to build out its Wi-Fi network. In addition, the telecom giant said that it "is nearing completion" of its project to convert Starbucks locations to AT&T's Wi-Fi service.

AT&T said Friday that it has closed its Wayport acquisition, which allows it to build out its Wi-Fi network. In addition, the telecom giant said that it "is nearing completion" of its project to convert Starbucks locations to AT&T's Wi-Fi service.

With Wayport, AT&T will have roughly 20,000 domestic hot-spots (statement). AT&T said last month it would acquire Wayport for $275 million. The Starbucks deal, announced in February, is focused on the coffee chain's 7,000 company owned stores.

For AT&T, the Wi-Fi buildout can land enterprise deals--like the network buildout it is doing for Starbucks. And more importantly Wi-Fi can fill gaps in AT&T's network coverage since devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry Bold are also Wi-Fi enabled.

In a statement, Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said:

"We see Wi-Fi as a strategic opportunity for AT&T. We plan to build on our leadership as the largest Wi-Fi provider -- bringing more connectivity to more consumers -- and working closely with our enterprise customers to enhance and personalize their customer communications and improve the efficiency of their operations."