updated 10:00 am EDT, Tue May 20, 2008
ATT PC Cards Free Wi-Fi
AT&T on Tuesday announced that it would provide free Wi-Fi to all users of its LaptopConnect service. The plan lets owners go online at any of 17,000 hotspots, including almost 7,000 Starbucks locations. Those who install AT&T's connection software for compatible cellular data cards also get an intelligent hotspot finder, the carrier says: the manager will automatically recognize any AT&T-backed Wi-Fi points and give users the option of switching to cut down on their cell network transfers.
Taking advantage of the service requires a $60 DataConnect plan or better. The company also promises to extend the service to "additional wireless customers" in the future but refrains from providing details.
AT&T is known to have briefly launched and retracted an iPhone Wi-Fi service that gave all owners of Apple's handset free access after entering their phone numbers; separate reports received by Electronista also suggest the American provider will extend the feature to all Wi-Fi capable smartphones in the near future.