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Starbucks gets a new partner for customer WiFi access

Coffee means big business here in the United States. Starbucks grew from its humble roots in the Northwest to a point now where you can find at least a few within a 5 mile radius in any major U.S. city. Fast food chain McDonalds has even gotten in on the act to cash in on the success of “premium” coffee.

In an attempt to provide a better "in store experience" for its customers and to distance itself from a growing McDonalds threat, Starbucks today announced a new strategic alliance to provide WiFi service to customers. Beginning in the spring of 2008, 7,000+ Starbucks stores in the U.S. will switch from T-Mobile WiFi access to AT&T.

“As we continue to build our technology offerings in ways that both enhance and expand the Starbucks Experience for our customers, we made a strategic decision to expand our existing relationship with our longtime technology partner AT&T to include consumer Wi-Fi,” said Starbucks CTO Chris Bruzzo.

Starbucks notes that its customers that wish to continue using T-Mobile Hotspot access will be able to do so seamlessly thanks to an agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile.

According to the company, Starbucks cardholders will be allotted two hours of free WiFi access per day at Starbucks stores. As reported by DailyTech in late January, existing AT&T broadband and AT&T U-verse customers will have access to free WiFi at any time.

“This is what our customers have been waiting for — free Starbucks-quality Wi-Fi,” Bruzzo continued. “Through our new partnership with AT&T, we also welcome their millions of current customers who can now come in and enjoy free Wi-Fi as part of their daily Starbucks Experience.”

Customers without a Starbucks card or an AT&T broadband account will pay $3.99 for two hours of service or $19.99 for a month's worth of surfing.



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T-Mobile to ATT
By retrospooty on 2/11/2008 1:13:37 PM , Rating: 1
Is that going from bas to worse, or from worse to bad?




RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By TomZ on 2/11/2008 1:19:41 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think the end user will notice much difference between the two vendors - they'll just notice the different brand name. WiFi is kind of at the point where it "just works" from a technical standpoint - wireless router plugged into a DSL connection - not exactly rocket science.


RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By christojojo on 2/11/2008 1:24:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
not exactly rocket science.


Have you actually dealt with AT&T lately?


RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By TomZ on 2/11/2008 1:44:59 PM , Rating: 1
I use AT&T DSL daily - no complaints - it's fast, reliable, and cheap.


RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By omnicronx on 2/11/2008 2:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
The quality of your DSL connection often has to do with the distance your house is from the relay points. In my area we are just on the edge of two relay points, so our DSL service is not very good. But go down the road 3 KM, and the service is pristine.


RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By retrospooty on 2/12/2008 9:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
No, I honestly have not. I have dealt with them alot up until 3 years ago when I quit dealing with them altogether.

Why, do they not suck now?


RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By Souka on 2/11/2008 2:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
This blows for my company....

We have T-mobile phones with wi-fi capability...users tether their phones and use T-mobile hotspots for FREE....

Many use Starbucks (sales people)...now that's gonna cost...lame...


RE: T-Mobile to ATT
By jkresh on 2/11/2008 6:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the article? Unless I am mistaken they mentioned that T-mobile wi-fi will still work (as they have a deal with ATT).


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