WSJ.com - AT&T Wireless Will Provide Wi-Fi in Hotels and Airports "For AT&T Wireless Services Inc. subscribers who have grown frustrated with their carrier's pokey data speeds, there soon may be a better way.
Making a big push into the increasingly popular technology for accessing the Internet wirelessly called Wi-Fi, the mobile-phone carrier -- one of the nation's largest -- has signed an agreement with Wayport Inc. (www.wayport.com), a large, closely held Wi-Fi network provider based in Austin, Texas, to give subscribers high-speed, wireless Web access at more than 475 hotels and several airports.
AT&T Wireless customers will have to pay for Wi-Fi access, even if they already subscribe to the carrier's data service. The Wi-Fi service will range in price from $9.99 for unlimited use over a 24-hour period, to $69.99 for unlimited usage over 30 days.
AT&T Wireless's plans, which are expected to be announced Tuesday, come a month after the Redmond, Wash., carrier said it was scaling back its plans to build a so-called third-generation or 3G network, the industry term for offering services like Web browsing at high speeds over a traditional cellular network. The carrier currently offers data services across most of its network, but at speeds only comparable to dial-up Internet connections. A plan to upgrade its network to increase those speeds by roughly fivefold was reduced last month from to four cities from 13."
Note: I recently signed up for the "pokey" AT&T Wireless data service referenced above, with a spiffy SonyEricsson T68i; I'll post impressions here after I gain some experience with it.