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Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 10:25 am PT (01:25 pm ET)

AT&T announces free Wi-Fi access for iPhone users (again)

After several false starts, AT&T on Wednesday began sending SMS messages to iPhone owners announcing that they can now access free of charge the carrier's nation-leading Wi-Fi network of more than 17,000 hotspots.

The text messages directed customers to this page.

"AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and FREE Wi-Fi is even hotter. Which is why FREE AT&T Wi-Fi access is now available for Apple iPhone at thousands of hotspots nationwide, including Starbucks," the company said. "Users can relax and access music, email and web browsing services with their favorite blend in hand from the comfort of their nearest location."

Of those 17,000 hotspots, more than 8000 are located in restaurants or Starbucks locations, 700+ in bookstores, and another 50+ can be found in supermarkets. The network is also accessible at 12 airports, 31 hotels, 23 universities, 18 convention centers, and 5 sport complexes.

iPhone owners can use this link to locate AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots in cafés, bookstores, airports, hotels, and universities, or this link to find their nearest Starbucks location.

AT&T Hotspot Login


Once in range of an AT&T hotspot, iPhone users should follow these instructions to gain free Wi-Fi access:
  • Activate Wi-Fi from the settings icon on your iPhone

  • Select "attwifi" from the list of available networks

  • Enter your 10-digit mobile number and check the box to agree to the Acceptable Use Policy. Tap 'continue'

  • You will receive a text message from AT&T with a secure link to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot. You will not be charged for the text message.

  • The SMS link will only be valid for 24 hours at the location it was requested. Another request must be submitted when using another hotspot location.

  • Open the text message and tap on the link for 24-hour access to the AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot