Starbucks has partnered with Google to offer its customers faster Wi-Fi speeds.
According to Starbucks, Google will work alongside Level 3 Communications to provide Wi-Fi service up to 10 times faster than the current AT&T service in Starbucks’ U.S. locations. New Starbucks locations that open over the next month will first enjoy this faster service. After which, starting with stores where Wi-Fi usage is highest, Starbucks will introduce the service to its 7,000 other US locations. A transition, which is expected to be completed within the next 18 months.
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Adam Brotman, chief digital officer of Starbucks said, “This is obviously an important milestone in our relationship with Google. We do hope this is one step amongst many that we can continue to build upon what’s already a great partnership with Google.”
Level 3 and Google will upgrade the current 1.5-megabit-speed T1 lines at every Starbucks location, and some locations are expected to enjoy speeds more than 10 times faster.
“When you start getting to really, really fast speeds, it’s difficult to put it in the same way everywhere,” Brotman said. He added that “Instead of finding one common denominator, we’re saying, no, let’s upgrade everything. In some cases, it will be faster than 10-times, sometimes slower.”
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel responded that they also made a proposal to Starbucks for up to 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds. “Starbucks continues to be an important partner for us, and we continue to provide them with a variety of services over AT&T’s advanced network, including the nation’s fastest, most reliable LTE network,” he noted.
However, according to Brotman, Starbucks didn’t plan to move away from AT&T, but constantly communicated with Google about a possible partnership, and added that providing customers with faster Wi-Fi to customers is one of the ways in which it can be done.
With the new demand for faster connection speeds among mobile and PC users who often use the service to stream videos and download large files, Starbucks is expected to attract even more customers.
In addition, Starbucks will work alongside Google to upgrade its Digital Network, the page where users are directed when they access Wi-Fi in the coffee shops. Brotman noted that Starbucks is “always happy to make an investment in our store experience.” “We’re moving to much more of a streaming world across all media types. This increased bandwidth will match what consumers are doing on the Web today, whether downloading or streaming or both,” he concluded. [CNET]