Despite reports to the contrary, the on again, off again saga of free AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspot access to iPhone users is NOT live and AT&T [again] made a mistake by posting a page that announced the service at AT&T’s 17,000 hotspots across the US.
The link, formerly here, has been taking down. When it was up, it said:
AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and free Wi-Fi even hotter, which is why we are proud to offer iPhone customers free access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi hotspot network with more than 17,000 hotspots, including Starbucks*. Now users can relax and access music, e-mail and web browsing services with their favorite blend in hand from the comfort of their favorite location.
AT&T’s webpage for helping find hotspot locations near you is still live here, so at least you can see where your local hotspots are for when the service does eventually do live, assuming it does eventually go live.
Glad I held off posting this news when I first saw it. At the moment, just about every other tech site is misreporting this. If you do happen to catch the service working, enjoy it while you can–it may not be up for long.
[Via Mac Rumors]
As you probably already have heard, Starbucks is in the process of switching over from T-Mobile to AT&T hotspots for customers who want to surf the web at Wi-Fi speeds.
No surprise, T-Mobile isn’t so thrilled with this move and is suing Starbucks.
According to a story at Reuters the company “secretly colluded with AT&T to offer free WiFi Internet access in its cafes despite an exclusive agreement with T-Mobile.”
They argue that they were given exclusive right to “sell, market and promote its service” at Starbucks locations and that they have “made a very significant investment in the technology and equipment necessary to provide Wi-Fi service in the many thousands of Starbucks stores in the United States.”
Fletcher Cook, a spokesperson for AT&T, said that the offer of free access to AT&T hotspots in the description of plan options for the iPhone was due to “human error” and that the company does plan to offer free Wi-Fi to iPhone customers as well as other phones that support Wi-Fi, it just wasn’t ready to make it available yet.
Fletcher said that “our Wi-Fi network is a great way of differentiating the AT&T network and giving customers another great reason to choose us over a competitor.”
Okay, nice to know that it is coming…no word on when it’s actually coming, though. I would assume that it has to be sometime this year.
Okay, this is getting as annoying as the Blu-ray drive coming then not coming to the Xbox 360 stories that hit every couple weeks or so.
iPhone users were given free Wi-Fi at AT&T hotspots.
AT&T switched off the free Wi-Fi hotspots access for iPhone users.
AT&T changed the description of their iPhone calling plans to include free Wi-Fi for iPhone users–great, it’s back.
Maybe the free access isn’t something they’re ready to announce yet but they sure are doing a bad job of keeping it a secret if that’s the case.
A couple of months ago Starbucks announced that it was switching over to AT&T to provide Wi-Fi service at their trillion or so locations around the country. The transition was scheduled to take place throughout the year and it looks like some locations in Texas and California have already been switched and iPhone users are finding a new reason to love their device–free Wi-Fi.
Apparently AT&T hotspots are offering up free, unlimited Wi-Fi to iPhone’s via the portal page shown at the left not just at Starbucks locations, but anywhere you can connect to an AT&T hotspot.
Just connect to the hotspot, open Safari and try to access the Internet and this “Get Connected Now” portal appears. Just enter your 10-digit phone number, check the box that you agree to the terms of service, and you’re in.
UPDATE: Looks like this may have been switched off…check out this post for a bit more info.
UPDATE 2: Seems to be back on now–check out this post for more info.
[Via Ars Technica]
Back in early February Starbucks announced that it was dropping T-Mobile’s HotSpots Wi-Fi service and going with AT&T instead in a move they planned to have completed by the end of 2008.
Looks like the transition has started and beginning on May 1st qualifying customers who have one of AT&T’s three higher-speed residential broadband packages or small businesses with a broadband or U-verse package will be able to get free Wi-Fi service at over 7,000 Starbucks locations across the US.
The SSID you’ll see for the new Wi-Fi connections will be “ATTWiFi”.
AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said at AT&T’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders in San Antonio “with the power of our Wi-Fi network, and through our partnership with Starbucks, we’re strengthening our ability to meet the needs of today’s mobile consumer virtually anywhere and everywhere…Expanding our reach across company-operated Starbucks locations nationwide helps us bridge the gap between our wired and wireless offerings and affirms AT&T’s commitment to connect people with their worlds, everywhere they live and work.”
Panasonic has announced a new Wi-Fi enabled digital camera, the Lumix DMC-TZ50.
The TZ50 is a 9.1 megapixel digital point and shoot camera with a 28mm wide-angle lens, 10x optical zoom and the ability to record HD video.
Nice but that alone isn’t what sets it apart from the pack.
What does? The built-in Wi-Fi.
Using a built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio the TZ50 is able to connect to T-Mobile HotSpots to wirelessly transfer photos to Picasa Web Albums so that they can be shared right away with friends and family.
Look for the Lumix DMC-TZ50 to hit stores in May for $449.94.
Check out the full press release here if you’re interested.