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  1. #1

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    AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Just read the following:

    Finding a "free" Wi-Fi hotspot in the US just got a whole lot easier, now that AT&T is taking over the Starbucks contract formerly held by T-Mobile. The reason is simple: the 12 million AT&T DSL and U-verse customers with at least 1.5Mbps service will now get free access at all 17,000 U.S. AT&T Wi-Fi locations, including the 7,000 Starbucks stores. In addition, any customer with a Starbucks stored-value card used at least once a month gets a free two hours per day -- money they're likely to be spending anyway. Starbucks is the crown jewel of U.S. Wi-Fi properties, and making access available to so many customers for free is a huge deal. We expect many Wi-Fi mavens to flee Comcast for AT&T broadband as a result. The handover has already started, and will be completed market-by-market by the end of the year. But T-Mobile Hotspot subscribers will not be left out in the cold -- they can continue to roam at Starbucks for at least the next 5 years.
    Great news for us AT&T DSL customers that get free AT&T WiFi with our plans. With the already great coverage at most McDonalds, and now free access at Starbucks too...that's pretty great WiFi coverage for free.

    I always thought that Starbucks' expensive T-Mobile WiFi had become a liability to Starbucks...as more and more locations and competition are offering free WiFi these days. I know I'll be visiting Starbucks more often now, and enjoying a drink while I use the free WiFi.


  2. #2

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    So you have to be an ATT customer to get free WiFi at Starbucks??

  3. #3

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Same, I'm not sure if I'm understanding this. I've just been going to "It's A Grind" up the street for decent coffee and free wifi, regardless.

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    The AT&T WiFi change, which starts in Spring (no date of first launch) is going from market-by-market across the country, which will finish up by the end of the year. Your local Starbucks may take a while to change over, depending on where you live.

    For free WiFi access:
    • Have a Starbucks card that is registered with Starbucks.com (Further details will be forthcoming once the rollout begins). This method grants you 2 hours a day for free.
    • Have certain AT&T DSL @ Home subscriptions where as part of the benefits included states that you are granted free access to all of AT&T WiFi hotspots.
    • Paid for a T-Mobile HotSpot account that is still in active standing. These accounts are good for up to 5 years.
    • Work at Starbucks
    For paying WiFi customers:
    • $3.99 for a 2 hour time period (down from T-Mobile's $6 for two hours)
    • $19.99 for a monthly plan (down from T-Mobile's $39.99 a month)

  5. #5

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    So it isn't really free or without strings, then. And I'll continue to go to It's a Grind where it is free.

  6. #6

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    If you're already an AT&T Yahoo/SBC whatever customer, then it's a perk. My Starbucks just had a remodel, and they made the tables smaller and there are noticably less seats. I don't think they really want people hanging out there! Plus, they keep it freezing cold so you will either leave or buy more coffee.
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  7. #7

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Quote Originally Posted by SusieP. View Post
    If you're already an AT&T Yahoo/SBC whatever customer, then it's a perk.
    Just about, but with one cravat. You get free AT&T WiFi nationwide, if you are an AT&T (old SBC) home DSL customer subscribing to a speed of 1.5 Mbps or more. This would be their "Express" "Pro" or "Elite" service levels that get you free nationwide AT&T WiFi for Starbucks, McDonalds, Barnes & Nobles, and some other locations.

    Their lowest cheapy 756 Kbps speed level does not qualify for the free nationwide AT&T WiFi.

    So if you've got at least 1.5 Mbps or higher from AT&T DSL...then you're good to go at any AT&T Wifi hotspot, using your existing AT&T or SBC DSL username and password. It's automatic and no registration or sign-up is required.



    It's not such a big deal or even "free" for the non-AT&T customer that uses a some other local coffee shop for their free WiFi. The main benfit is to those that travel around a lot. Knowing that you are likely never very far from one of the thousands of Starbucks, McDonalds, and perhaps Barnes & Nobles (and many airports)...is a great benefit. Subscriptions to plans such as Wayport or T-Moblie can add $30 a month...or even having to purchase "Day Passes"...can add a lot to your expenses. With the option of all the locations AT&T offers for free to most of its DSL customers...it's a pretty sweet deal.
    Last edited by Opus1guy; 03-20-2008 at 06:40 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    nice advertising perk for AT&T.. but I don't see it being this big swing for them.

    People expect more and more for wifi to be free when they are mobile. This thread shows some examples were people are using free wifi to compete against stores that charge for it.

    Paying 'per site' wifi is a dying breed. Of course people will continue to try to push it as long as possible, but the free 'commodity level' access will continue to expand. Only those locations that really lock you in with no choice (like Airports, etc) will be able to hold onto that model later.

    I don't think anyone will switch to DSL just for this. If they care that much about starbucks to start with.. they could go the card route and get free access.

    If AT&T starts getting more agressive and starts going after those locations like Airports, etc.. then that could get more interesting.
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  9. #9

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    nice advertising perk for AT&T.. but I don't see it being this big swing for them.

    People expect more and more for wifi to be free when they are mobile. This thread shows some examples were people are using free wifi to compete against stores that charge for it.

    Paying 'per site' wifi is a dying breed. Of course people will continue to try to push it as long as possible, but the free 'commodity level' access will continue to expand. Only those locations that really lock you in with no choice (like Airports, etc) will be able to hold onto that model later.

    I don't think anyone will switch to DSL just for this. If they care that much about starbucks to start with.. they could go the card route and get free access.

    If AT&T starts getting more agressive and starts going after those locations like Airports, etc.. then that could get more interesting.
    People aren't switching specifically because of this, but a lot of my customers have stated that this would help them lean towards AT&T for DSL rather than a competitor. It's a great selling point for us when people get iPhones

    Too bad there's barely DSL service in my area

  10. #10

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    regardless of the TV ads.. no one buys DSL unless

    - there is no two-way cable in their area
    - they want dial-up cost and don't care anything about the speeds they get (DSL targeting the low-end price points and dial-up customers)
    - they have some personal hatred of their cable provider
    - they are a business with specific SLA requirements or business offers

    In the residential market, if two-way cable is in the market.. they virtually own it. DSL can't compete with the coverage of cable nor the speeds they can crank cable up to easily if the cable providers want to. The only market left is the $19.95 market for basic connectivity.

    CLEC DSL is history due to the recent court rulings on the leasing of space in COs and the biggest player Verizon is already saying good-bye to DSL to focus its efforts on FIOS rollouts.

    DSL is technology already surpassed except in markets with very poor cable providers. It's the betamax of IP connectivity. Better technology bsae, simply too costly to roll out fast enough and got steam rolled by the competition and the provider's own infrastructures. Remote DSLAMs were too costly to deploy to expand coverage. Good night DSL - it was nice knowing you. Your peak is already past.
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  11. #11

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    There are WAY too many other places that offer totally free Wi-Fi now. Starbucks needs to get on the bandwagon.

    Hell, even our local Jack in the Box has free Wi-Fi now. Not that I've ever used it, but it's there.


  12. #12

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    I just go to Panera...less coffee bean high you get from the smell lol and less residual cigarette smoke and smell stuck on peoples bodies when they come back.
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  13. #13

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    regardless of the TV ads.. no one buys DSL unless

    - there is no two-way cable in their area
    - they want dial-up cost and don't care anything about the speeds they get (DSL targeting the low-end price points and dial-up customers)
    - they have some personal hatred of their cable provider
    - they are a business with specific SLA requirements or business offers

    In the residential market, if two-way cable is in the market.. they virtually own it. DSL can't compete with the coverage of cable nor the speeds they can crank cable up to easily if the cable providers want to. The only market left is the $19.95 market for basic connectivity.

    CLEC DSL is history due to the recent court rulings on the leasing of space in COs and the biggest player Verizon is already saying good-bye to DSL to focus its efforts on FIOS rollouts.

    DSL is technology already surpassed except in markets with very poor cable providers. It's the betamax of IP connectivity. Better technology bsae, simply too costly to roll out fast enough and got steam rolled by the competition and the provider's own infrastructures. Remote DSLAMs were too costly to deploy to expand coverage. Good night DSL - it was nice knowing you. Your peak is already past.

    I think you overestimate the rapidity of the demise of DSL. There are more than enough people fitting into the four categories for having DSL (obviously myself included) and more thanks to number three every day.

    The only real difference I see between the two (counting only DSL Elite) is that uploads are faster with cable. Most downloads are not slow because of your download speed - but because of the limitations of the server you are downloading from. To me, paying more for that little difference makes no sense. Especially considering I am about to switch from cable to satellite anyway. It really depends on your local market rather than the technology does it not?







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  14. #14

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    I think you overestimate the rapidity of the demise of DSL. There are more than enough people fitting into the four categories for having DSL (obviously myself included) and more thanks to number three every day.

    The only real difference I see between the two (counting only DSL Elite) is that uploads are faster with cable. Most downloads are not slow because of your download speed - but because of the limitations of the server you are downloading from.
    With the bandwidth glut.. well designed sites can deliver high speeds all the time. I can easily download at over a megabyte/second. Anything less then 500k/s and you start thinking 'wow this is slow'.

    At work, 2megabytes/sec or more is common. Sites and consolidation in peering have caught up with demand. The days of about 200k/s being the highest common denominator are past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    To me, paying more for that little difference makes no sense. Especially considering I am about to switch from cable to satellite anyway. It really depends on your local market rather than the technology does it not?
    I think it boils down to the type of user. user who says 'I just want internet' and knows nothing else, will be attracted to the low-cost DSL offers. The other types of users who are actually shopping the internet they get.. will almost always end up with cable. It's not even close when you start comparing getting 1.5 or 3mbit with DSL vs 6-15mbit with cable in most markets. 150k/s vs 600-1meg/sec is huge

    There is always the exception with those in markets with poor cable service - but where both are present, DSL doesn't have a chance with the demanding users.

    DSL is past its peak already. Its just too costly to deploy. It makes more sense to push FTTH where they can try to recoup their costs with phone/internet/video and value added services rather then just trying to get the cost back with just internet.
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  15. #15

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    Re: AT&T Takes Starbucks WiFi From T-Mobile

    Funny thing though, my DSL is 6mbit which is pretty much the same as my neighbor with cable. The only real noticable difference is uploading, and then just noticable not eye-popping. Not worth an extra ten bucks (or more) a month IMHO. As long as this is still the status quo in semi-major markets (like Sacramento) then the demise of DSL will take longer than I believe you expect it to.

    I also have the advantage in that my DSL modem and home network are on a battery backup. In a power outage - I can wireless into the net via my laptop for a couple of hours - in the dark. When the power goes out - our cable service goes with it. Another plus for DSL in my neighborhood, at least for now. If there was as big of a difference here as there is in your examples - and we had a different cable provider, I'd be there in a heartbeat even though I am only a moderately demanding user with at most six computers online on my home network. If it made sense to move from DSL I would have already done it.

    I do agree though that DSL's days are numbered for the very reasons you post. I just think it will happen later than sooner. Some of us old geezers wait until the service/features/dollar ratio makes sense before we jump. In my neighborhood - it ain't happening soon.







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