Starbucks to offer free Wi-Fi hotspot services

Starbucks announced that it will drop T-Mobile in favor of a new Wi-Fi offering from AT&T. Not only will customers enjoy great gourmet coffee, but they can also enjoy free Wi-Fi internet service.

Though its Wi-FiSM network, AT&T will generously provide Starbucks with wireless hotspots of up to two hours per day with options to purchase additional time or a monthly plan. In addition, current AT&T Internet customers get unlimited free access to the Wi-Fi service. There are over 12 million users who subscribe to AT&T broadband.

The AT&T deal means that there will be 17,000 hot spots in the US for its Wi-Fi network and more than 70,000 globally.

Wi-Fi and free internet services are becoming more common for larger companies such as airlines, hotels and television networks. It’s a very competitive market in hopes to convince new customers to subscribe with companies that offer the free services.

T-Mobile offers its hotspot service to nearly 5,000 Starbucks stores for $6 an hour, or $9.99 a day. Starbucks said its T-Mobile hotspot customers will have continued Wi-Fi services at no extra cost.

For Starbuck customers who do not have either an AT&T subscription or a Starbucks card, Starbucks will sell two-hour blocks of wireless Internet for $3.99 or a monthly membership for $19.99.