Starbucks moves to AT&T hot spots and away from T-Mobile

Editor’s Note: This story is excerpted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

Starbucks Corp. Monday said it is moving away from T-Mobile Wi-Fi and will transition its customers to AT&T Inc.’s Wi-Fi service in more than 7,000 of its high-end coffee shops beginning this spring.

Starbucks said its T-Mobile HotSpot customers will have continued Wi-Fi services at no extra cost because of a deal between AT&T and T-Mobile. Company officials could not be reached for further comment.

Starbucks has been using AT&T point-of-sale and other technologies for more than 10 years, so the Wi-Fi business with AT&T represents a new “comprehensive communications agreement” that allows Starbucks to streamline business operations while also enhancing the customer experience, Starbucks said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the two companies said the new Wi-Fi services will be a mix of free and paid Wi-Fi offers. For AT&T, the deal means that there will be 17,000 U.S. hot spots for its Wi-Fi network and more than 70,000 globally. Up to two hours of free Wi-Fi service per day will be available for Starbucks card holders, while AT&T U-verse Internet customers will have unlimited free access.

Of course, AT&T is Apple’s exclusive provider for its popular iPhone. Apple also announced a deal with Starbucks last year allowing iPhone users to purchase songs they hear in the coffee shops directly from iTunes.

Macworld’s Jim Dalrymple contributed to this report.

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