Starbucks snubs T-Mobile, signs WiFi deal with AT&T

Starbucks made a deal for WiFi services with AT&T, effectively ending its six-year relationship with T-Mobile USA for WiFi hotspots. The new deal will bring Starbucks patrons a mix of both paid and free WiFi service at Starbucks' more than 7,000 U.S. locations.

Starbucks said users of its Starbucks membership card will receive two hours of free wireless access each day, while subsequent two hour blocks will cost $3.99. The company also plans to offer monthly memberships at $19.99 that include access to any AT&T hotspot nationwide. Current AT&T hotspot subscribers will also have access to the service at Starbucks.

At least for T-Mobile, its customers can continue using WiFi services at no additional costs through an agreement between T-Mobile and AT&T.

Interestingly, Apple, which has an exclusive deal with AT&T for the iPhone, also has an exclusive partnership with Starbucks, enabling customers to download music onto their iPod Touch, iPhone or PC or Mac running iTunes at participating Starbucks locations. At this point, however, only AT&T DSL customers have free access to its WiFi hotspots throughout the country. iPhone users are left out of the fray, despite the fact that the device supports both EDGE and WiFi.

For more on the AT&T/Starbucks deal:
- read this press release