“Starbucks Corp. is teaming up with AT&T Inc. and will start offering a mix of free and paid wireless Internet service in many of its U.S. coffee shops, beginning this spring,” Elizabeth M. Gillespie reports for The Associated Press.
“The world’s largest specialty coffee retailer’s move ends a six-year partnership T-Mobile, which did not include free Wi-Fi and charged more than the new AT&T service will cost,” Gillespie reports.
“Starbucks said Monday it will give customers that use its Starbucks purchase card two hours of free wireless access per day. After that, it will cost $3.99 for a two-hour session. Monthly memberships will cost $19.99 and include access to any of AT&T’s 70,000 hot spots worldwide,” Gillespie reports. “Nearly all of AT&T’s broadband Internet customers will automatically have unlimited free Wi-Fi access at Starbucks.”
“Chris Bruzzo, Starbucks’ chief technology officer, would not disclose how many customers use the T-Mobile service in Starbucks stores, but said he expects many more will use the new service. Starbucks will begin rolling it out this spring and aims to have it available in its more than 7,000 company-operated domestic stores by the end of the year,” Gillespie reports. “AT&T, the nation’s largest telecommunications company, has powered the network service Starbucks uses to run its cash registers and other computer systems for years.”
Gillespie reports, “Last month, AT&T announced plans to make its 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots free to nearly all of its broadband Internet customers. The move expanded access to include subscribers who have a lower tier of high-speed Internet service, increasing to 12 million the number of broadband customers who can use the hotspots free of charge. Previously, only subscribers to AT&T’s premium broadband service had free access. Monday’s announcement boosts the number of AT&T hotspots in the U.S. to 17,000 — the most in the nation.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “ChicagoPhotoGuy” for the heads up.]