AT&T Inc has struck a major blow to its rival T-Mobile in the US Wi-Fi market, signing a deal which ends T-Mobile’s six-year alliance with the Starbucks chain of coffee shops. From the second quarter of this year, AT&T will assume control of the network of hotspots at over 7,000 Starbucks outlets across the US. The firm says the network will provide unlimited free wireless access to its twelve million fixed broadband customers, while charges for other users will be lower than those currently levied by T-Mobile. The deal means AT&T will be providing Wi-Fi at more than 17,000 hotspots across the country and 70,000 globally, though the bulk of these are offered via roaming agreements with other operators. ‘Our new relationship with AT&T gives us the opportunity to expand and enhance the range of digital entertainment experiences for our customers as well as our partners, including the continued rollout of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks,’ said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. T-Mobile says its Wi-Fi customers will continue to be able to access services at Starbucks thanks to a nationwide roaming agreement with AT&T.