AT&T launches free Wi-Fi for iPhone users | iLounge News


AT&T launches free Wi-Fi for iPhone users

After several gaffes which saw the company prematurely activate and then pull the feature, AT&T has finally launched its free Wi-Fi access for iPhone users at all AT&T-branded hotspots in the U.S. The service will provide free high-speed Internet access to iPhone users at all AT&T hotspots, including those found at Starbucks. To access a hotspot, users must launch the Safari browser, enter their 10-digit phone number on the page provided, agree to the Acceptable Use policy, and tap continue. AT&T will then send the user a text message containing a link, which the user must then open in Safari, and tap a link on the page. The company notes that the link sent via SMS will be valid for 24 hours, and only at the location from which it was requested.

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If this is “really” true this time, then it will be a nice addition.  It kind of sucks that you have to go through all those steps to get connected but if it works so that you do not have to re-login each time you shut off your iPhone then it might be bearable.  Also if it is truly ALL AT&T;Wifi spots (like at airports) then that is even better.  I thought it was only going to be Starbucks, but the addition of all hotspots almost makes up for all the previous miscommunications about this feature in the past.

Posted by TosaDeac on October 29, 2008 at 5:29 PM (CDT)


Well its ABOUT TIME! I have a SB on the ground floor of my apartment building. They’ll be seeing a lot more of me now! :)

Posted by Matt Dunn on October 29, 2008 at 5:43 PM (CDT)


So, unless I’m confused, you have to be somewhere with cell service in order to receive the text message, in order to activate the WiFi. That’s just stupid and ill-conceived.

Posted by urbanslaughter on October 30, 2008 at 4:13 PM (CDT)


Mine doesn’t work. Do all the steps and still no connection. I’ve been on several long calls with ATT tech support to no avail. Am I the only one with this problem?

Posted by Harold Smoliar on October 31, 2008 at 10:05 AM (CDT)


Same old crap for “free” Wi-Fi: the process for signing in is so annoying, that most times, I’ll just use the cell network. Especially since many times, one I get on, the Wi-Fi is slow, or there’s some error in the login process, it just wastes most of the time I might spend there. I actually get more pages loaded over EDGE since I can start surfing immediately.

I mean, I’m not leeching the broadband to download large files on my phone, so convenience is what matters to me. Even the free access I sort of pay for by using a Starbucks card once a month doesn’t get me an instant sign on process.

Posted by Ryan Gray on November 1, 2008 at 6:30 PM (CDT)


So this might be a dumb question, but what benefit does a Wi-Fi connection give you over 3G? If you can’t hook onto a Wi-Fi hotspot then why not use 3G? I can only think of a couple of benefits (less power drainage than 3G, a little faster?, can only d/l on i-tunes if you’re on Wi-Fi). Am I missing something bigger?

Posted by Samir on November 3, 2008 at 9:18 PM (CST)


Ok, so I’ll update my opinion on this issue a little….

I spent way too much time in several airports this weekend and they all had Boingo hot spots (which are listed on the AT&T;website as one of their WIFI hot spots) so I was excited to get free WIFI while I was delayed over and over again.  Unfortunately I could NOT connect to any of them with my iPhone without signing up for the service ($7.99 a day!)  I called Boingo and then AT&T;and was told that this was not one of the included WIFI hot spots…only places like Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and McDonalds.  So, the one place I was excited about having free WIFI with my iPhone is a big fat not available.  I was especially disappointed since I came to realize that EDGE coverage at the 4 airports I was at was not very good at all.

I did connect to free WIFI at a Starbucks in Winston-Salem, NC without any problems while I was waiting in line for my coffee, but I was out of there too quickly to even need it since I purchase drinks there, but don’t hang out there.  I will give them credit for it being a quick process though.

Posted by TosaDeac on November 10, 2008 at 5:46 PM (CST)

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