Ubiquitous caffeine conglomerate Starbucks has ended its Wi-Fi partnership with T-Mobile in favor of one with AT&T.
Under the earlier plan with T-Mobile, Starbucks customers needed a paid subscription to access the in-store Wi-Fi service, and T-Mobile HotSpot subscribers will continue to have access to Starbucks Wi-Fi thanks to an agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile. But the new AT&T plan allows all customers 2 free hours per day, with a $3.99 fee for additional 2-hour chunks of time. Monthly subscriptions will cost $19.99 and will enable access to other AT&T hot-spot locations in addition to Starbucks.
It’s about @*#&^!$ time! Finally, customers get some amount of wireless access without paying through the nose.
This may actually make me go to Starbucks again on occasion — at least I can check my email with my predictably boring coffee.
Some more details, from Wi-Fi Networking News:
AT&T says in their press release that all Starbucks Card holders, which is simply their value-storing swipe card system, will get two hours of free Wi-Fi a day. No purchase is needed: you just need an active card, I confirmed with the company. Walk in, buy a $5 value card, activate it, and you’re on for two hours a day from then forward. You can also use multiple devices with a single account, within reason, Starbucks told me. AT&T has also lowered the price for usage from T-Mobile’s somewhat egregious $6 per hour or $10 per day to $4 for a two-hour session. The monthly price, like the rest of AT&’s network, is $20 per month for outsiders, which also includes all 70,000 domestic and international locations in their worldwide roaming network.