AT&T to shutter Global Wi-Fi app that offers free hotspots

AT&T quietly announced it will shutter its Global Wi-Fi app that offers AT&T’s international wireless customers free Wi-Fi access and unlimited Wi-Fi data at participating hotspots around the world.

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A note on the carrier's website indicates the app will no longer work as of April 1.

According to a text message posted online by a supposed AT&T customer, unlimited Wi-Fi at participating hotspots is no longer available with AT&T Passport, International Day Pass, or any other international roaming packaging.

AT&T launched the app as a complement to its international roaming packages, including the International Day Pass, which enables users to use their domestic plan and data package for an additional $10 per day; and Passport, which offers one-time and per-device data, talk and texting plans for roaming.

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AT&T signed a deal with global hotspot provider Fon to give AT&T customers access to Fon's 12 million hotspots around the world in 2013. AT&T signed similar deals with Boingo for access to Wi-Fi hotspots in airports around the world and Sky’s 18,000 Wi-Fi hotspot-strong offering, called The Cloud, that same year.

But the app did not gain much traction among users and was rife with issues. The app has a 2.1 rating in Apple’s App Store, and a slightly better 2.4 rating in the Android store, with mostly negative reviews from users complaining about lack of participating hotspots and that the app didn’t work very well.

Last December, AT&T updated its Passport offerings with more data to include a 1GB plan at $60 per month and a 3GB plan for $120 per month. Those plans also offered free access to AT&T’s network of global Wi-Fi hotspots. An AT&T spokesperson told FierceWireless that the company updated its international roaming offers to include more data as international Wi-Fi usage has declined.

AT&T rolled out Wi-Fi calling to customers traveling abroad on phone calls back to the U.S. in 2016. A company spokesperson confirmed the changes to its Global Wi-Fi app will not affect its international Wi-Fi calling offerings.

This story has been updated with more information from an AT&T spokesperson.