Starbucks replaces T-Mobile with AT&T (free Wi-Fi)

Starbucks Coffee has replaced its Wi-Fi provider T-Mobile with AT&T. Starbucks announced their partnership with AT&T this morning.

starbucks coffee arul johnTheir new partnership with AT&T allows Starbucks customers to use Wi-Fi freely for 2 hours if they pay using a prepaid Starbucks card. If they pay otherwise, they’ll be paying $3.99 per two-hour session, and monthly memberships will cost $19.99 per month.

In the article,

The chain has slowed its store expansion considerably and has been looking for other ways to appeal to customers. With free WiFi being used as a selling points for many smaller cafes, $9.99 per day at Starbucks just wasn’t cutting it for most WiFi addicts. Reshaping its offerings with AT&T to offer free or cheap service will allow Starbucks to compete with smaller coffee houses for those customers, while making its current customers even happier.

I think this is a right move for Starbucks from the business point of view. They’ll still have to work a little harder at the “free” clause if they want to attract more coffee drinkers/Wi-Fi users who hog free Wi-Fi areas like Panera and public libraries.

Read more here.