Basically, users were to use such hotspots to check their emails, surf the web and use VoIP clients.

The initial announcement read the following: “We are proud to offer iPhone customers free access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi hotspot network with more than 17,000 hotspots.”

It may be just a PR blunder, but it’s a very embarrassing one, especially since this is the second time AT&T launches such a promise only to deny it later on. Back in April, the carrier went public with a similar announcement, but refrained from disclosing any actual dates.

The move is a double edge-sword for AT&T. On one hand, free hotspot would enable iPhone owners to use VoIP clients and thus, shift some load from AT&T’s already burdened landlines.

On the other hand, the free use of such clients would mean the the voice calling and text messaging -related revenue would have to take a significant dip. And AT&T is not happy with a such a business perspective.