30 Jun Select Wisconsin Starbucks go wireless
MADISON – Starting Wednesday, Starbucks customers in Wisconsin can order wireless Internet along with their venti frappuccinos. More than 3,100 company-owned Starbucks stores nationwide – and now 33 stores in the state – offer T-Mobile HotSpot service for patrons with Wi-Fi-enabled notebook computers.
Users can access the wireless Web by activating a T-Mobile HotSpot account. Various pricing plans are available and include unlimited subscriptions, DayPass and pay-as-you-go plans. T-Mobile customers can also add the coffeehouse service to their monthly wireless voice and data bill.
“The HotSpot service was launched in 2002 in 1,200 stores and we’ve added it to more than 3,100 stores,” said Nick Davis, Starbucks spokesman. “[Starbucks is] constantly adding new stores and will continue to do so. Our goal is to get HotSpot service to 70 percent of our company-owned stores.”
On the other hand, local Madison coffeehouses have been providing wireless Internet to their customers for years. Espresso Royale, 650 State St., has offered Wi-Fi through a provider called Café Connection for two or three years, according to employee Ron Walters.
Despite this, Starbucks does not believe it’s behind the pack.
“We originally offered HotSpot in stores because customers wanted it … customers wanted to say connected while in the stores. We are on our way to bringing HotSpot to as many customers we can,” Davis added.