“People want to stay connected to their world 24/7, and Wi-Fi hot spots, broadband and wireless make that mobility possible,” said Rick Welday, AT&T chief marketing officer, Consumer. “Laptops and smartphones give us the online mobility we crave, and now millions of AT&T and Starbucks customers will get Internet access free from the comfort of their neighborhood Starbucks.”
[From MORE THAN 12 MILLION AT&T, STARBUCKS CUSTOMERS TO GET FREE WI-FI ACCESS FOR A RICH IN-STORE EXPERIENCE]
Stay connected 24/7 as long as it’s only 2 hours per day for the free access… Actually this isn’t entirely a fair comment because for $20 a month, same as the T-mobile deal, you get unlimited access, but I’m feeling snarky today so I’ll lob the Molotov cocktail instead.
At any rate, this is a big loss for T-mobile and could signal an inflection point in their wifi business. I am seeing a number of public places use AT&T wifi, where just a year ago it would have been a fair bet that Tmo would have been the provider.
I used to have Tmo wifi on my cell plan when I had that carrier, but have since switched to AT&T. But don’t look for me pecking away at the keyboard in a Starbucks anytime soon, I rarely find myself at their outlets these days and if I do I am going to plug my EVDO card into my laptop.
I finally bought an EVDO card for my Mac. So far it’s been a great experience, the expresscard driver software is already in Leopard so I didn’t have to load anything, basically it was as simple as taking the card out of the box, inserting it in the slot, and clicking on the “connect” menu item that displayed in the menu bar icon that showed up when I inserted the card.
It’s fast, definitely the best wireless experience I’ve had through a non-wifi network. Verizon’s EVDO costs $60 a month, in addition to the cost of the card, but that’s a small price to pay for widely available fast wireless connectivity.
I work from a lot of different places and hoping to find a wifi connection just wasn’t cutting it. Also, I am finding that wifi is increasingly not free in many public places therefore EVDO is a good hedge against wifi inflation. While my favorite hotel in Denver, The Monaco, offers free in room wifi, a significant number of hotels still don’t so when I’m traveling I no longer have to subject myself to the irritation of paying $10 or more for a 24 hour wifi connection.
The only thing that is kind of annoying is the blinking green light on the card, I may put a piece of tape over it.