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AT&T has announced that iPhones will be allowed free Wi-Fi access at its 17,000 nationwide hot spots. This includes Starbucks, airports, hotels and lots of other public spots.

This is especially good news for first generation iPhone users who don’t get 3G network access; the bump up to Wi-Fi speeds is a starker contrast for them. For everyone else, it’s still a nice bonus and is yet another enticement — beyond falling prices and elegant designs — to get an iPhone.

IPhones still make up less than 1 percent of the global cellphone market, but the needle could move as prices bring it within the range of a mass market device. Just think: The iPhone’s $200 price tag is equal to what Motorola’s RAZR — ancient by today’s standards — cost just two years ago (notwithstanding data plan).

Along these lines, free Wi-Fi is another enticement to add to the pile. Among other things, Wi-Fi connectivity can make up for lapses in coverage for a more seamless experience in some areas. And more Wi-Fi users mean less that leech off the 3G network, which is better for everyone.


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. very cool. also recently tmobile announced that same deal for their Android phone, the G1. all tmobile hotspots give G1’s free access

  2. For quite a while, AT&T has had free wifi access in effect for UVerse customers as well. It would be good for my laptop. But no one seems to know how to access the code. I’ve asked at several AT&T wireless stores, customer service etc.

  3. I agree. I am an AT&T DSL subscriber and sometimes i’ve tried to log into hot spots using my general AT&T account username and password (the same one I use to log into AT&TYahoo portal and other bundled services). Anyway, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Not sure how they’re going to allow access from iphones at these hot spots… automatically detect that it’s an iphone perhaps? I’ll find out.

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