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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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.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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