Talking tech since 2003

Customers of AT&T and Fon are about to see their Wi-Fi hotspot options increase significantly. AT&T announced this morning that it had come to an agreement with Fon, a major Wi-Fi hotspot operator abroad. AT&T users traveling the globe will gain access to Fon’s network of over 12 million hotspots. In exchange, Fon users can log on to any of AT&T’s 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in the U.S.

att_logoNotice I didn’t say “free access.” That’s because, based on the wording of AT&T’s statement this morning, it doesn’t appear that AT&T users, at least, will be able to hop on a Fon hotspot for free. It looks like that access will be limited to AT&T customers that have either the 300 MB or 800 MB Data Global Add-on packages, which cost $60 and $120, respectively. Also a bummer: AT&T limits hotspot access on those plans to 1 GB per month.

Fon users appear to be making out pretty well with this arrangement. Those who are part of the service, which asks each user to share his or her Wi-Fi in exchange for access at other Fon hotspots, will be able to jump on any AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot in the U.S. at no charge.

While AT&T’s 30,000 hotspots pale in comparison to the 12 million present on Fon’s network, the number is still nothing to sneeze at. It ensures travelers who need a quick Wi-Fi fix don’t have to travel too far for one, especially when you consider that many other establishments in the U.S. offer free Wi-Fi.

I’m going to dig into this a bit more and find out if that expensive Data Global Add-on plan is really necessary for AT&T users. If so, it definitely kills some of the buzz. In the meantime, I’d love to get your thoughts on this — if you’re an AT&T or Fon user, does this deal benefit you at all? Leave us a comment down below.

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