Oh, what a sad day it is for T-Mobile. The wireless provider has been struggling for market share for quite some time now, consistently being trumped by AT&T and Verizon at just about every turn. One of their biggest assets, however, has been their exclusive contract with Starbucks to provide pay-per-use and subscription Wi-Fi service in most of the coffee company’s retail stores. Not any longer. Beginning this Spring, Starbucks customers will be able to enjoy up to 2 free hours of Wi-Fi service courtesy of AT&T. Each additional 2 hour chunk will cost $3.99, with a $19.99 monthly subscription providing access at all other AT&T hotspots as well. Existing AT&T broadband customers will be entitled to unlimited free usage. This is great news for consumers who have been locked into paying T-Mobile’s excessive usage rates, especially in an era of nearly ubiquitous free Wi-Fi, but could serve a potentially dangerous blow to T-Mobile’s revenue stream.
[Thanks, Julian and TJ!]