AT&T offers free Wi-Fi access to iPhone owners

October 30, 2008 · Print This Article

After months of back and forth, AT&T has finally made official its plan to offer free Wi-Fi access to iPhone owners.

The deal, which applies to thousands of AT&T hot spots in the US, also includes company-owned Starbucks locations that offer Wi-Fi access.

To take advantage of the access, iPhone owners must join the “attwifi” wireless network at a participating location, then enter their ten digit mobile phone number into a Web form. They’ll then be sent a free text message with a hyperlink; tapping on that link will begin the session. AT&T says free access is renewable every 24 hours, but the process must be completed separately for each different location.

AT&T’s free

WiFi plan has a checkered history: the service first appeared last May only to disappear shortly thereafter; some speculated that this was because it was a simple matter to have other WiFi clients pretend to be iPhones, netting free access to a service that AT&T normally charges for. The following week AT&T’s site said that hotspot access was included in iPhone plans, a reference which was quickly removed. In July, information on free WiFi access once again appeared on AT&T’s site, only to be once again removed.

Our counterparts in the US have tried out the service at a local Starbucks, and an AT&T spokesperson confirmed to Macworld that the launch is official this time.

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