MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Jan. 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Towerstream (Nasdaq:TWER), a leading 4G service provider, today announced plans to expand its pilot Wi-Fi network in Manhattan and further develop the initiative to build out additional hotzones throughout New York City and 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 to explore using Wi-Fi as a supplement to mobile data offloading in areas with a high level of mobile broadband usage. Towerstream's outdoor Wi-Fi hotzones improve the experience of users of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, tablets, and other devices who struggle with network congestion in areas with a high volume of mobile broadband subscribers. Towerstream's new hotzone initiative will have up to 200 mbps of available bandwidth per location, making it one of the fastest portable Wi-Fi networks in Manhattan. In the first few months of its pilot program, Towerstream experienced millions of connections to its Wi-Fi hotzones, primarily from handsets. The network supported an average of 250,000 connections and over one terabyte of data transferred per day. By adding data network capacity in high traffic areas, Towerstream's outdoor Wi-Fi network in Manhattan can provide one of the fastest and most reliable ways for users to stay connected from their Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices. "Towerstream's initial Wi-Fi pilot has received an outstanding response and supports a high quantity of data traffic," said Towerstream CEO Jeff Thompson. "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." The explosion of the mobile Internet and the mass user adoption of smartphones and tablet devices is a disruptive force in the market. Since an increasing number of smartphone and tablet applications run only on a Wi-Fi connection, access to a fast and reliable Wi-Fi network in major markets is imperative for smartphone users. As a result, devices and carriers will need access to reliable Wi-Fi networks to offer a more complete user experience.