Friday, July 18, 2008

AT&T Announces Free WiFi For iPhone Users Again...

Fantastic news from a friend with sharp eyes. AT&T has finally done something great for iPhone owners. No, they're not unlocking the iPhone. They're not giving it away for free, although it does involve "free". They have finally announced that they'll be rolling out free access to AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots for all iPhone users. Yarly. Read on for the details.

The document detailing the rollout reads:

"AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and free Wi-Fi even hotter, which is why we are proud to offer iPhone customers free access to the nation's largest Wi-Fi hotspot network with more than 17,000 hotspots, including Starbucks*. Now users can relax and access music, e-mail and web browsing services with their favorite blend in hand from the comfort of their favorite location."

The announcement now gives free access to Wi-Fi at all of AT&T's over 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation, including:

12 Airports
31 Hotels
23 Universities
18 Convention Centers
5 Sports Centers
8,000 + Restaurants
700 + Bookstores
50 + Supermarkets

Those who haven't been following the story may be confused by my enthusiasm. Rumors that AT&T would start offering free Wi-Fi for iPhone users began back in April. Since then, they had announced it, disabled it, brought it back, taken it away again, and then told us not to keep our hopes up. Finally, three months since this all began, they have officially announced it.

I'm hoping that it's not a joke, as AT&T loves to play silly games with iPhone users.I know this should go without saying, but remember that the free WiFi isn't for "all iPhone users" but for all legitimate iphone users, on the ATT network. You have to log on to the network with your phone number, so nuts to us unlocked users!

Update: The original page here has been removed!

AT&T must enjoy pulling this news back-and-forth

Update 2:
Gigaom further clarifies with an official AT&T Statement
We have not made any announcement regarding free Wi-Fi and iPhone. The webpage was posted in error and is being removed. Wi-Fi is a real differentiator for AT&T and it is our intention to make it available to as many customers as possible, but we have no announcement at this time.

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