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.
The 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.
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.”