Print 22 comment(s) - last by hadifa.. on Jul 20 at 7:48 PM

AT&T's free Wi-Fi for iPhone includes Starbucks hotspots

One of the biggest issues with the original iPhone was the sloth-like speeds of the EDGE network for data. To alleviate this problem, mobile types that used the internet on the iPhone were likely to hop from Wi-Fi hotspot to Wi-Fi hotspot.

AT&T announced previously that it would be providing iPhone users with free access to its network of Wi-Fi hotspots. The network includes over 17,000 hotspots across the nation at airports, hotels, Universities, sports centers, restaurants, bookstores and Starbucks locations.

The AT&T service in Starbucks locations was an issue for a while after Starbucks decided to move from T-mobile as its Wi-Fi provider to AT&T. The move ended up with T-Mobile suing Starbucks over the AT&T deal.

Despite the delay and legal battle over Starbuck hotspots AT&T finally has free Wi-Fi access available for iPhone users. The hotspot service for the iPhone will be more beneficial to owners of the original iPhone than those with the new iPhone 3G who can get similar speeds over the 3G network.

However, as many iPhone 3G users have figured out, the AT&T 3G coverage isn’t as robust as AT&T would like users to believe. Thanks to spotty 3G service, many iPhone 3G owners may still find themselves seeking out Wi-Fi hotspots to download apps for their device, music and check email right alongside the original iPhone owners.

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Thank you AT&T...
By sxr7171 on 7/18/2008 12:32:55 PM , Rating: 5
How is this fair to the rest of us who pay for a data plan every month? I pay the same monthly as an original iPhone user for data, but because I don't have an iPhone my money won't buy Wi-FI? Wi-Fi should be opened up to all data plan customers not just iPhone data plan customers.

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By Moishe on 7/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Thank you AT&T...
By Natfly on 7/18/2008 1:22:19 PM , Rating: 5
because others who pay for the exact same thing are getting more?

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By Moishe on 7/18/2008 3:39:42 PM , Rating: 4
That's not how I define 'unfair'.

If I buy a car for $10,000 and you buy the same car for $9,000 should I bitch and moan because you got a better deal?

Basic business knowledge is that "products" are worth what they people will pay. If you bought a data plan for a reasonable price and it meets your needs... then it's worth it. They offered a product, you bought it. To claim 'unfair' when someone else gets a better deal seems more than a bit like whining to me.

You define the worth of a product when you pay for it. If you think it's unfair, then stop paying for it and go buy an iPhone and get the 'fair' deal. :)

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By crimson117 on 7/18/2008 9:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
"exact same thing" plus 3G connectivity on the road.

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By crimson117 on 7/18/2008 10:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
Oops I read that as new iPhone vs old. My mistake.

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By Frank M on 7/19/2008 10:09:47 AM , Rating: 2
The concept of fairness doesn't enter into the business world. The faster you learn this, the easier life will be.

Cingular has no obligation to be fair to you. They could give away free service the day after you signed your $1000/yr contract, and it would be perfectly within their rights.

I spent three hours on the phone with Cingular when I re-signed, talking them down a few bucks a month on my bill. Does this mean that they have to give everyone that price, to be fair?

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By hadifa on 7/20/2008 7:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
Legally, They may not have to be fair, but if they want to have satisfied customers, they need to.

That's why in some instances, when a product drops sharply, they return some money to the early adopters( like what EVGA did for GTX280)

In your case, if Cingular took "few bucks" off from all your neighbors but not you, wouldn't you complain?

For business, fairness is defined through profit!

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By slashbinslashbash on 7/18/2008 1:43:23 PM , Rating: 3
I get free WiFi at Starbucks when I log in using my email, since I use AT&T as my ISP (DSL landline). This has saved my butt a couple of times when power and/or Internet was down at my apartment. It is surprising to me that cellular data plan users don't get the same deal, although I guess it makes sense, since aren't most "other" smartphones lacking WiFi?

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By Moishe on 7/18/2008 3:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
It actually might be a global deal they have with Starbucks... discounted broadband for the thousands of stores... more 'features' for Starbucks.

Everyone wins.

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By sprockkets on 7/18/2008 9:57:12 PM , Rating: 1
I think though at least 3G iphone losers have to pay more for their plans than the rest of us do.

The iphone is nice. FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!

RE: Thank you AT&T...
By chick0n on 7/20/2008 8:02:38 AM , Rating: 1

a "3G" phone that has almost no "3G" function.

All iPhone does is "transfer" over "3G" network. without the Video talk. ROFL !

I always laugh at ppl who got the original iPhone. now I have more reasons to laugh at the "new" iPhone.

I wish Starbucks would just go fully free WIFI
By anotherdude on 7/18/2008 12:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't though this through so don't jump down my throat but wouldn't this pull in a lot more customers?

By Moishe on 7/18/2008 1:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Really, they should go fully free. It's not like their system will get bogged down because you simply can't fit that many people within decent range of one hotspot.

I don't know if it would truly increase the number of customers though... Maybe slightly. I go to Starbucks for cofee, not for wifi. I might go a little more often there instead of indy coffee shops just to get the free wifi while I'm there.

I wonder if this would extend to iPod touch users? That would rock.

By Screwballl on 7/18/2008 4:03:27 PM , Rating: 2

just have a small RFID tag on the bottom of the cup and when it comes within 12" of the tabletop, it triggers a small switch inside and activates the wireless for that customer... otherwise people will be sitting outside of the store in their cars getting free wireless...

By Frank M on 7/19/2008 10:11:19 AM , Rating: 2
I think that you'd get a lot more campers, reducing the turnaround on tables. It may actually lose them money.

By HrilL on 7/18/2008 2:06:12 PM , Rating: 5
AT&T has since removed that page from their site and AT&T spokesman Wes Warnock confirmed the mistake. "The page was pushed live in error and has since been removed,"

Warnock would not say when iPhone users would be able to use the Hot spots but did add "Wi-Fi is a real differentiator for AT&T, and it is our intention to make it available to as many customers as possible, but we have no announcement at this time,"

By Bender 123 on 7/18/2008 2:08:45 PM , Rating: 1

good deal
By Moishe on 7/18/2008 12:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
In a way it's admitting that the service isn't perfect (good) and it's also a great way for AT&T and Starbucks to work together. There is probably already a decent number of iPhone users at Starbucks.

Value added doesn't hurt anyone.

By Screwballl on 7/18/2008 12:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
if you can afford an iPhone, you can afford a $10 cup of coffee... I guess after paying all that extra money for useless crap you will need free internet service... I will have a fresh cup of coffee at home for 2 cents

Taken Down
By zyzzix on 7/18/2008 1:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
CNET says the release was made in error and it's not. Get your act together ATT!

By DLeRium on 7/18/2008 2:17:15 PM , Rating: 2
I want to use my Nokia N82's wifi... Screw the iPhone.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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