AT&T to iPhone users: you’ve got free Wi-Fi!

AT&T is giving away access to all of its Wi-Fi hotspots in Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, and other locations to iPhone users. I can understand why they’re doing this: they want iPhone owners to use Wi-Fi instead of the 3G network which has suffered a number of outages in recent months in various parts of the US. According to Engadget, there is a hack for people who don’t own iPhones but want to get access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi networks for free: “just switch your browser’s user agent to Mobile Safari, and presto! Free internet.”

With AT&T giving away Wi-Fi, what happens to T-Mobile which charges extra for its T-Mobile hotspot service? I expect T-Mobile to give away access as well. And Boingo? Well, I think people will continue to pay Boingo because you can use your Boingo account in so many countries, not just the US, since the company has roaming agreements with different hotspot operators.