Mobile
Commentary
5/1/2008
09:24 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

iPhone Users Get Free Wi-Fi Access At Starbucks

Since AT&T is providing Starbucks locations with their Wi-Fi networks, it decided to do iPhone users a solid and give them free access to the Wi-Fi. The only caveat is that you have to be an AT&T subscriber.

Since AT&T is providing Starbucks locations with their Wi-Fi networks, it decided to do iPhone users a solid and give them free access to the Wi-Fi. The only caveat is that you have to be an AT&T subscriber.I read the reports in my RSS feed and, since I am sitting in a Starbucks at this very moment, decided to test it out.

I turned on the Wi-Fi radio in my iPhone and watched as it pulled up all the local networks. They included AT&T, Panera (which is around the corner), and one other secured network.

I chose the AT&T network and loaded Google. I was redirected to a landing page. I was asked to provide my AT&T telephone number. I typed it in, waited several seconds while it verified my account, and bingo! Free Wi-Fi on my iPhone.

Not bad, AT&T, not bad at all.

My one thought here is, since iPhone users have proven to be such heavy users of AT&T's EDGE data network, this move might be a partial attempt to get iPhone users off the cellular network when browsing the Web. This would free up capacity for other users in the vicinity.

The one major sticking point is that the network isn't secured in any way. So be careful where you surf. Someone may be watching.

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