Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old May 3, 2008, 12:55 PM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
AT&T Disables Free iPhone Wi-Fi (For Now)



On Wednesday, we reported that AT&T had begun offering free Wi-Fi access to iPhone users at many of their national Wi-Fi hotspots, including Starbucks and Barnes & Noble locations.

No official announcement had been made, however, and AT&T representatives reportedly declined to comment. Today, many users are reporting that the free iPhone access has been removed and users are unable to log-in with just their phone number. This appears to be true at locations that were verified to offer the free Wi-Fi access just days before.

Based on the screenshot and wording of the login page ("Free AT&T Wi-Fi for iPhone"), there can be no doubt that the service was intentional, but it appears it may have been launched prematurely. Regardless, we still expect the service to be officially announced in the future.

Article Link

Last edited by arn; May 3, 2008 at 01:12 PM.
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 12:58 PM   #2
ramuman
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
I expect the service to return in the future - maybe around when the 3G iPhone is released. Also, WiFi was free for DSL and EDGE subscribers in general I think, not just iPhone users.
ramuman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 12:59 PM   #3
kavika411
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Alabama
No one does better product roll-outs than AT&T.
kavika411 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:00 PM   #4
thejadedmonkey
macrumors 604
 
thejadedmonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Pa
Send a message via AIM to thejadedmonkey
Probably because anyone who knew someone with an iPhone and who knew how to spoof a user-agent could get free WiFi
__________________
MacBook • 17" MacBook Pro • iPod Nano • Apple TV
PS4 • Custom Windows 8.1 Desktop • WP8.1
"Good judgment comes from experience,
experience comes from bad judgment."
- Mulla Nasrudin
thejadedmonkey is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:01 PM   #5
thevofl
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavika411 View Post
No one does better product roll-outs than AT&T.
As someone who used to work for AT&T, I can personally attest to the truth behind the sarcasm.
thevofl is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:03 PM   #6
Doctor Q
Administrator
 
Doctor Q's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles
If that was a teaser promotion, it wasn't handled in the best way possible. If it's just a goof, they'll correct it.
__________________
Oh do pay attention 007. In the wrong hands, this cylindrical 12-core Mac Pro with three 4K displays, FirePro graphics, and Thunderbolt 2 could be very dangerous.
Doctor Q is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:08 PM   #7
mkrishnan
Moderator emeritus
 
mkrishnan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
So I'm still trying to understand this situation...sorry. AT&T includes free hotspot access as part of the iPhone plans, correct? But that coverage doesn't always extend to every AT&T hotspot, and in particular, the ones inside Starbucks and Barnes & Nobles don't work?

So in essence, with AT&T having outbid T-Mobile and taken over the Starbucks hotspot contract, as well as having bagged the iPhone, I get access to Starbucks hotspots on my unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile (because T-Mobile also includes hotspot access in data plans and Starbucks arranged for free T-Mobile roaming on their hotspots)? And you (who use the iPhone officially on AT&T) don't?

Niiiiice.
__________________
Mira C. Krishnan
mkrishnan is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:09 PM   #8
CommanderData
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
The free wifi for iPhone users was shut off due to the fact it was easily cheated. Anyone can set their user-agent string to Safari and connect to the wifi if they know a valid iPhone telephone number.

This means you could connect with your laptop if you used your buddy's number for free!

Read more here: http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=1067
CommanderData is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:11 PM   #9
arn
macrumors god
 
arn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Send a message via AIM to arn
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrishnan View Post
So I'm still trying to understand this situation...sorry. AT&T includes free hotspot access as part of the iPhone plans, correct?
No, AT&T has never promised free Wi-Fi hotspot access with iPhone service. That's why the news of it on Wednesday was such a big deal.

arn
arn is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:15 PM   #10
naroola
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York, NY
I guess AT&T will wait until Jobs announces this himself at WWDC (hopefully).
__________________
iMac 27" Core i7 Quad core | Macbook Air 1.6GHz HDD | iPad Wifi 64GB | Time Capsule 1TB | Apple TV 40GB
iPhone 4 32GB Black | iPod Shuffle-Orange
naroola is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:16 PM   #11
solipsism
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramuman View Post
I expect the service to return in the future - maybe around when the 3G iPhone is released. Also, WiFi was free for DSL and EDGE subscribers in general I think, not just iPhone users.
yes, but this was a special portal for WiFI users. The HotSpot would monitor the USer Agent and take you to a special iPhone Safari page to access the internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejadedmonkey View Post
Probably because anyone who knew someone with an iPhone and who knew how to spoof a user-agent could get free WiFi
I concur.There is only a couple ways AT&T can prevent the spoofing from occurring.

The first, if they want it now, is to have you put in your AT&T iPhone phone number, then AT&T sends you a random SMS code that you then put into the webpage to gain access. This would still allow access to those with access to an iPhone that are spoofing their User Agent.

The second is to not allow iPhones on the AT&T WiFi network until v2.0 comes out. This way, AT&T can have a free or 99¢ app—which will more than pay for the development—that authenticates you on the AT&T hotspots.
solipsism is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:21 PM   #12
solipsism
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
No, AT&T has never promised free Wi-Fi hotspot access with iPhone service. That's why the news of it on Wednesday was such a big deal.
But it does make sense to include it for the largest bandwidth eater in their lineup. AT&T's data over WiFi is significantly cheaper to operate and upgrade than their W-CDMA or even EDGE network. So the more iPhones AT&T can push onto the el cheapo WiFi connections at hotspots the better for them, and since the speed will most likely be faster than the carrier network in speed and latency it's better for the consumer.
solipsism is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:27 PM   #13
Yvan256
macrumors 601
 
Yvan256's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canada
Not to mention that slashdot picked on the news, meaning that a lot of technical people knew how to use the workaround.
Yvan256 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 01:54 PM   #14
tba03
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
until thy figure out how to filter all of us changing the user agent of safari to iphone, greedy att
tba03 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:00 PM   #15
MacSlut
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bar
Funny, today I fount an AT&T hotspot that used to charge $10 a day, but is totally free. It doesn't ask for an iPhone number, just a check box for having agreed to the terms. This wasn't at a Startbucks or Barnes & Noble, but a hotspot in the San Francisco Bay area.
MacSlut is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:01 PM   #16
PlaceofDis
macrumors Core
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
probably going to have to wait from an update from apple so that it can indeed be limited to iphones, or some way to not let the people using the id spoof get on the networks
__________________
dim my eyes on the waves of confessions...
PlaceofDis is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:03 PM   #17
EricNau
Moderator
 
EricNau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Perhaps they're waiting for WWDC in June...
EricNau is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:04 PM   #18
MacSlut
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bar
Also want to say that I hope this was just a temporary glitch. Free WiFi access for iPhone owners (and the small percentage that hack) would be totally worth it. AT&T should consider offering this, if not free, for a small fee added to your bill and then give people passwords.
MacSlut is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:07 PM   #19
gkarris
macrumors 604
 
gkarris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: "No escape from Reality..."
Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
No, AT&T has never promised free Wi-Fi hotspot access with iPhone service. That's why the news of it on Wednesday was such a big deal.

arn
Oh, I was wondering what the big deal was.

Wierd. DSL subscribers (as long as it not the basic DSL package) get access to AT&T WiFi Hotspots.

Maybe AT&T is going to give it to EDGE subscribers eventually as well...

(T-Mobile EDGE subscribers get hotspot access...)
__________________
"This gate's plastic." Captain Carter, Stargate SG-1, "Touchstone"

Last edited by gkarris; May 3, 2008 at 02:13 PM.
gkarris is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:10 PM   #20
mkrishnan
Moderator emeritus
 
mkrishnan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
No, AT&T has never promised free Wi-Fi hotspot access with iPhone service. That's why the news of it on Wednesday was such a big deal.
Oh, really? I'm sorry. I thought that hotspots were a part of all AT&T cell data packages, including the iPhone.
__________________
Mira C. Krishnan
mkrishnan is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:18 PM   #21
sebastianlewis
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Francisco
Send a message via AIM to sebastianlewis
Hmm, it really is kind of stupid to rely on the browser agent anyway, Apple should build it into the iPhone's software and offer a preference to automatically transfer from EDGE to AT&T's WiFi when possible.. hmm.. that's an interesting idea though: a user interface that allowed you to drag and drop different networks based on priority, your home network might be #1, Corporate WiFi network as #2, HSPA as #3 (when that version of the iPhone comes out), AT&T WiFi as #4 and EDGE as #5 maybe, and be able to do this with any WiFi network you have access to in addition to AT&T's (or the others) services.

It shouldn't do this based on just availability either, but based on which is the fastest and most available at the time.

Sebastian
sebastianlewis is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:19 PM   #22
crees!
macrumors 68000
 
crees!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: MD/VA/DC
I so can't wait till I get an iPhone. June just can't come soon enough.
__________________
The only thing that seems to increase over the years is that nonsense multiplies.
NOSOCIALISM NOBAMA
crees! is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:30 PM   #23
iansilv
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Maybe they will ahve i work wihtout the phone number authentication
iansilv is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 02:39 PM   #24
deftdrummer
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Diego
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderData View Post
The free wifi for iPhone users was shut off due to the fact it was easily cheated. Anyone can set their user-agent string to Safari and connect to the wifi if they know a valid iPhone telephone number.

This means you could connect with your laptop if you used your buddy's number for free!

Read more here: http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=1067
yeah steps to spoof in order to gain free wifi access were posted on the net within hours of the free wifi announcement. Seems everyone is out to skirt the perks of being an iphone user these days. Be it with their "iphone killers," (claimed only due to the integration of a "touch" screen), or free wifi access in Starbucks, spiting the iphone industry seems to be the latest craze.
deftdrummer is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 2008, 03:01 PM   #25
Flowbee
macrumors 68030
 
Flowbee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Alameda, CA
I recently bought my first Starbucks coffee in months because of the free iPhone wifi. On Monday, I guess I'll be going across the street to Peets again.
__________________
Podophile.com >> Home of Nike+iPod hacks and FAQs.
Flowbee is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[FREE] Instaworks - Pic Frame & Photo Collage & Caption Editor for Instagram Free BigBn iPad Apps 0 May 9, 2014 02:44 PM
iPhone is disables syedrizvi21 iOS 7 1 Mar 16, 2014 03:47 PM
official iPhone 5S dock disables volume controls? widestload iPhone 3 Sep 24, 2013 06:41 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:44 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC