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AT&T To Acquire Wi-Fi Network Provider Wayport

AT&T has agreed to acquire privately held Wayport, a provider of managed Wi-Fi services in the U.S., for about $275 million in cash.

The deal will expand AT&T’s Wi-Fi wireless networking footprint to nearly 20,000 domestic hotspots, and expands its global Wi-Fi presence to more than 80,000 locations.

Founded in 1996, Wayport currently provides back-office management for AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspots; the deal would bring the Wi-Fi infrastructure completely under AT&T’s management.

“We’re seeing exponential growth of Wi-Fi-enabled devices — such as smartphones — combined with a continued dependency on 24/7, anytime, anywhere Internet access across business and consumer market segments,” said John Stankey, president and CEO for AT&T Operations, 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.”

Wayport Wi-Fi hotspots are in select Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club and Four Seasons hotels; HealthSouth and Sun Healthcare locations; McDonald’s restaurants; Hertz locations; and other retail locations. 

 Wayport’s investors include Sevin Rosen Funds, Invesco Private Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Scale Venture Partners, Trellis Partners, Advanced Equities, Lucent Venture Partners, GC Technology Fund, Sanders Morris Harris, Star Ventures and GIC.