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iPhone users to get free WiFi

     
5:40 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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AT&T has started sending SMS messages to iPhone users directing them to this page [wireless.att.com] on AT&T's site which includes links to find hotspots.

Access the Internet anytime

AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and FREE Wi-Fi is even hotter. Which is why FREE AT&T Wi-Fi access is now available for Apple iPhone at thousands of hotspots nationwide... For information visit www.att.com/attwifi.

Thousands of AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot locations nationwide

* Airports
* Hotels
* Universities
* Convention Centers
* Sports Centers
* Starbucks locations
* Restaurants
* Bookstores
* Supermarkets

10:56 pm on Feb 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My local Starbucks just started offering this service last week. I'm able to get it at the much lower-priced coffee shop/bakery next door. I never got texted about it though. One day I was loading a website when a new page started loading in its place asking me to enter my iPhone number. I never even got the customary WiFi detected pop-up. WiFi just took over and started loading that page. I was understandably skeptical at first, but the owner of the bakery knew about it and told me it was from the Starbucks next door. Sweet!
11:27 pm on Feb 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like the new Starbucks policy will be a boon to nearby businesses, like the bakery you mentioned. That's great for their business in bad times like these.
11:51 pm on Feb 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think you might be right. There's a Jamba Juice on the other side of Starbuck's that I'm guessing benefits from the free WiFi too. I wonder if the next thing Starbucks locations installs are Faraday cages!
6:13 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What a sweet little marketing concept this is for AT&T.

Now, how much this is going to be a real cost saving benefit to AT&T customers, it's hard to say. Verizon offers a neat package and, of course, Clearwire and others are expanding their wireless broadband. Prices are going down. But, it LOOKS like a great thing, even if where it might not be. And keeping current customers happy and talking like this is priceless.

6:34 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's not really a cost saving or benefit to me unless you factor in that I'm saving money by having my coffee at a less expensive bakery next door to Starbucks.

I guess it doesn't really matter to Starbucks though because AT&T is probably paying the bills and I'm still talking about it on an open forum which is good for AT&T.

So from the point of view of a potential customer it might entice me to buy an iPhone instead of a BB regardless of whether I spent time at Starbucks or the bakery next door. If I didn't spend much time online when I'm out and about I don't think it would make any difference at all.

But back to the cost savings to me. I'd still use my iPhone at the bakery even if I had to rely solely on 3G. I just wouldn't get as much work done.

BTW, there does seem to be a limit/cap on the number of people using WiFi concurrently because fairly often the phone switches back to 3G. Sometimes in the middle of loading a page which makes it take a lot longer to load a page.

 

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