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AT&T Gives Away WiFi Extenders to Subs on Fastest Broadband Tiers

Looking to give its whole-home WiFi efforts a boost, AT&T is offering two Smart Wi-Fi Extenders (made by AirTies) to customers who upgrade to its “fastest broadband speeds,” meaning its symmetrical 1 Gig service, in this case.

Per the fine print and this blog post from Stephen Vincent, assistant VP-wired voice and broadband prducts at AT&T, the offer, good through June 28, is for new and existing residential internet subs who purchase or upgrade to AT&T’s fiber-based Internet 1000 tier (some MDU units aren’t eligible).

The promos comes about five months after AT&T launched a premium, whole-home WiFi mesh product that utilizes AirTies extenders (pictured at left), specialized software that optimizes those connections and lets users set their own network names and passwords.

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AT&T is also selling those extenders online for $34.99 each. Those devices work in tandem with certain AT&T-supplied wireless gateways (the BGW210, 5268AC or NVG599) for “standard” internet plans (12 Mbps or higher).

Coincidentally, AirTies also announced Thursday that its deployments now span more than 25 million homes and more than 50 operators around the globe. Other known customers include Atlantic Broadband, Deutsche Telekom, Frontier, Orange, Midco, Singtel, Sky, Swisscom, Vodafone, and Waoo.

AirTies also announced some stats based on aggregated data from those deployments, noting that the average home has more than seven WiFi-connected devices, and the average daily connection time per WiFi device is ten hours. About 45% of devices use only 2.4 GHz WiFi channels, with the balance having dual-band chips that can operate at 2.4 GHz or 5GHz.

Data rates at 5 GHz are almost five times as fast as on the lower spectrum band, reflecting the importance of network-based client steering technology that can get devices on the best available channel, AirTies added.

Citing data from more than a dozen AirTies partners, the company found that 75% reported a decrease in churn since implementing its WiFi products, 80% reported an increase in customer satisfaction, and 67% said they’ve had a decrease in WiFi-related support calls.

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AT&T, Cox Communications, Comcast, Blue Ridge Communications and MidCo are among other ISPs that have recently, introduced whole-home WiFi products with partners such as Arris, eero, and Plume, among others.

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On the retail front, Netgear has launched an Orbi-branded retail device that combines a DOCSIS 3.0 modem with a Tri-Band Mesh WiFi router designed to broaden wireless coverage and work in tandem with an Orbi Satellite device/extender.

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