AT&T Quiet In Marketing Wi-Fi Hotspots

McDonald’s, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Barnes & Noble and other retail locations across the United States could join in to provide consumers free Wi-Fi access from AT&T, according to a spokesman from the Dallas-based carrier.

AT&T announced earlier this week that qualifying LaptopConnect customers can now access more than 17,000 Wi-Fi hot spots free of charge. Some of those customers are contracted through the service provider Wayport. The service lets them stay connected to e-mail, the Internet and business applications nearly anywhere they can make a phone call.

While the news may sound good to LaptopConnect customers, many may not even hear about it. Today, AT&T has no plans to market or advertise online the free service, put up signs in stores, run print ads, send direct mail pieces, or develop radio or television spots, said Warner May, AT&T spokesman. “We have no plans to share at this time,” he said.

McDonald’s plans to leave the marketing to AT&T, but Shannelle Armstrong, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, doesn’t expect the carrier to spread the word that some customers are eligible for free Wi-Fi access at any of its 9,000 locations across the country
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