The groundbreaking new Wi-Fi "hotzone" AT&T launched in Charlotte on Monday is sparking questions from uptown Charlotte folks anxious to know if they're in the zone or not. Considering all the complaints we hear nationally and locally about people frustrated by AT&T's congested 3G network, it's just smart business for the carrier to give mobile customers an alternative entry ramp to the Web.
AT&T says the hotzone, a sort of a regular Wi-Fi hotspot on steroids, covers an area running along South Brevard Street from the NASCAR Hall of Fame to East Trade. One reader in Fourth Ward, which would seem to be outside the zone, said he saw AT&T workers installing a small tower at 8th and Poplar. He wondered if maybe Fourth Ward might be in the hotzone too.
The folks at AT&T say they can't provide a map of the hotzone, but note that the best way to know if you're in it is to simply turn the Wi-Fi feature on on your phone. When you're in range of the hotzone, the phone will automatically jump from the 3G network onto the hotzone. Here's how to make sure it's on:
- First, activate Wi-Fi on your phone.
- Once you are in range of the AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone, select "attwifi" from the list of available networks. Most AT&T smartphones will automatically connect and authenticate on the AT&T Wi-Fi network.
- Then launch your browser to access the Web.
- After you've connected to an AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot the first time, the next time you’re within range and launch your browser, you will be automatically logged on.
- For more information on how to connect your specific device to Wi-Fi, visit www.att.com/wifiaccess.