BT has announced a new relationship with Starbucks Coffee Company to provide Wi-Fi across more than 650 Starbucks coffeehouses in the UK and Ireland. The first stores will have the service installed this week and the roll out will be completed by the end of the summer 2009.
Today’s announcement will allow 4.6 million BT broadband customers including those with inclusive BT FON Wi-Fi minutes, plus BT Openzone users to email, surf the internet or make VoIP calls at Starbucks. O2 iPhone users will have access included within their contract, and millions of customers from iPass, Boingo and other BT Openzone roaming partners will also be able to use the service.
Starbucks will use the network to support both its public customer hotspots and store operations systems. O2 customers can get access to Wi-Fi at Starbucks UK stores in several ways: O2 iPhone users will have access as part of their monthly tariff, for no extra cost. From summer 2009, O2 Mobile Broadband customers will have access to more than 3,500 BT Openzone premier Wi-Fi hotspots (including the Starbucks stores) as part of their tariff. All other O2 mobile customers can utilise Wi-Fi hot spots across the country by selecting a monthly Wi-Fi Bolt On.
Chris Bruce, CEO, BT Openzone said: “Starbucks is the perfect place to work or catch up over email. Use of our Wi-Fi doubled last year and coffee shops are increasingly popular as a third place to work or log on to the internet. We’re constantly looking to boost the choice of places to connect – where people want it. The location of Starbucks stores in the high street and travel hubs is helping to extend the reach of Wi-Fi to customers.”
“At Starbucks, we are continually looking for new ways to develop our in-store offerings for our customers, and this new relationship with BT, provides an enhanced customer experience.” Robert Teagle, EMEA IT director Starbucks. “As we continue to develop our technology strategies this relationship will strengthen the Starbucks Experience and amplify our stores as a must-go location for our customers.”
An existing BT Openzone roaming agreement with AT&T also allows users access at more than 7,000 Starbucks stores in the USA.
BT also provides Wi-Fi access at more than 150,000 UK & Ireland locations including 12 city centres, the Hilton, Thistle and Ramada Jarvis hotel chains, BA lounges, Welcome Break motorway service stations, independent commercial and residential hotspots.
The service is also available at more than 50,000 sites overseas through agreements with other global network operators.