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Towerstream a 4G service provider, that typically provides enterprise backhaul, today announced plans to build out wholesale hotzones throughout New York City as well as other key markets including San Francisco and Chicago in 2011.

Over the past year, Towerstream has deployed a pilot Wi-Fi network in Midtown Manhattan. Towerstream says it has completed millions of connections to its Wi-Fi hotzones, primarily from handsets.

Towerstream installs Ruckus WiFi nodes in busy stops, including Grand Central Terminal and Times Square, using their own backhaul installed on nearby tall buildings. Towersteam then leases the network to wireless carriers like Verizon. Using Ruckus beamforming gear, Towerstream says it provides up to 200 mbps of available bandwidth per location.

Towersteam uses a Ruckus outdoor Smart-Sector mesh access point (ZoneFlex 7762-S), a point-to-multipoint wireless backhaul bridge (ZoneFlex 7731), indoor/outdoor customer premises equipment (MediaFlex 7200), and system-wide remote Wi-Fi management (FlexMaster 9.0) to manage hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi clients.

AT&T Mobility announced its own hotzone thrust, expanding its WiFi hotzones into more areas of Chicago, New York and San Francisco to offload heavy 3G traffic.

AT&T operates hot spots in hotels, airports, Starbucks coffee shops and other indoor locations. AT&T’s new “hot zones” cover public, outdoor spaces and provide fast data service for AT&T subscribers.

“The success of our pilot network of hotzones in New York City underscores the demand for high-capacity Wi-Fi networks, and we are excited to expand Towerstream Wi-Fi hotzones to additional key markets throughout the country,” said Towerstream CEO Jeff Thompson.

Founded in 2000, Towerstream has established networks in 11 markets including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay area, Miami, Seattle, Dallas-Fort Worth, Nashville and the greater Providence area where the Company is based.

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