At Starbucks, T-Mobile is out and AT&T is in, at least when it comes to WiFi. The company has begun a program where it will be offering free access to the AT&T WiFi in its stores for 2 hours a day. However here is the catch: anyone who uses a Starbucks Card (a prepaid gift card, like one you would give to a friend) will be able to get up to two hours of free WiFi service per day at any Starbucks location with WiFi service. (This is something where many people are already doing (buying a latte or any coffee) when they visit Starbucks) To get 2 hour free internet you simply need to purchase an item with your Starbuck card. Better yet, if you’re an AT&T broadband or U-verse subscriber, you’ll be able to use unlimited WiFi at Starbucks for free. For everyone else, paid service will begin at $3.99/two-hour session, and monthly membership will go for $19.99/month.
I am sure this will generate more traffic to store. Most Starbucks locations a totally right to go grab a drink, sit down and browse the Internet or do some work for a couple of hours. This experience is very popular in college students and school teens. I am sure many people will start pre-loading small amount every time they visit starbucks and use the card immediately so that they can get two hours free per day instead of paying $3.99 cash for it.
However, in many cities, like Seattle, LA, NYC, Washington DC, local coffee shops are offering free wifi without any limit. Panera and Caribou Coffee across the street offer free wifi as well.
Anyway, good marketing idea for more revenue. Enjoy the coffee and free internet (at least for 2 hours)
Via [computerworld, starbucks free wifi, arstechnica.com, Geek.com and t-mobile.com]