No one has said anything about AT&T's WiFi play as a result of its acquisition of BellSouth. That is until now. AT&T operates on one of the largest WiFi networks in the country, the FreedomLink network, which is operated by Wayport but branded and operated by AT&T. AT&T has thousands of FreedomLink locations, mostly in UPS Store/Mailboxes Etc., Barnes & Noble and Caribou Coffee stores. AT&T offers the network at several thousand McDonald's restaurants directly under contract for about $2 per month to its DSL customers and an extra $20 per month includes roaming locations across several networks.
This leaves a bunch of open-ended questions, including what Cingular will do with WiFi. Cingular already has a smaller WiFi initiative that depends on Freedomlink, but could then challenge T-Mobile for WiFi supremacy. In addition, Cingular could gain an advantage in the mobile market offering UMTS, WiFi and voice services.
To find out more about the implications on WiFi from an AT&T/BellSouth combo:
- read this article from WNN Wi-Fi Net News