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Starbucks chooses AT&T over T-Mobile for Hotspot contract

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!]

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Born with a cell phone in one hand and a tablet in the other, Josh Karp has followed his love of technology through to the present day. As a Special Correspondent at BGR, Josh covers press conferences, trade shows and other events around the world. An expert in all things mobile, Josh has more than eight years of experience covering the wireless industry.