Networking

McDonald's announce free Wi-Fi


McDonald's have announced the roll-out of free wireless Internet across almost all of its UK restaurants. This move will make McDonald's the biggest provider of free wireless Internet access in the UK, which is largely dominated by pay-as-you-go or contracted services.

The free service will be operated by network provider The Cloud and will be rolled out across the majority of restaurants by the end of this year. Owen Geddes, Director of Business Development at The Cloud said: "It's great to see McDonald's taking such a visionary stance and bringing Wi-Fi to the mass market in this way."

Steve Easterbrook, President and CEO of McDonald's (UK) said: "We hope that this will be a breath of fresh air and give greater choice for Wi-Fi hotspot users who have had little choice but to pay by the month or hour to access the Internet on the move."

Whether a fan of their food or not, this is certainly good news for anybody who wants to use their Wi-Fi enabled devices while on the move. It's rarely a challenge to track down the local McDonald's restaurant; I for one won't mind the cheap coffee if it means I can ‘log-on' for free.

This is the second story I've noticed this week in which customers are being offered free or ‘almost' free Wi-Fi (see BT Broadband's alliance with FON). Will we see this as a rising trend? While some businesses are able to offer such services to customers, how are some of the more traditional hotspot providers going to adapt? The availability of free Wi-Fi makes mobile VoIP calling (such as with Skype) a more realistic option for consumers in urban areas and, as coverage expands, could pose a threat to mobile phone providers through reduced traffic on subscription hotspots and 3G/GPRS.

30 comments
andy.nelson
andy.nelson

All this put me in mind of one of those "urban dictionary" emails I received a while back.... GOING FOR A McSH*T. Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food, you're just going to the bog. If challenged by a pimply staff member, your declaration to them that you'll buy their food afterwards is known as a McSh*t with Lies.

DanLM
DanLM

Then Starbucks. Actually, I hate Starbucks coffee and am a huge fan of McDonald's. Chuckle, let the flames begin. Dan

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

Otherwise Burger King -there's always one close by- will find wireless laptop owners popping up in their premises also! I don't eat at McDonald's but quite enjoy the Burger King fayre. Maybe 'BurgerDriving' or 'WarBurgers' might be the new crime!

ravin_6764
ravin_6764

This is a good idea but McDonald has to consider their customers who do not use WiFi... McDonald customers whom are not using the Wifi facilities will enjoy the food and leave the permises once they have finished their meal, but considering those using the Wifi they will spend more time and may be spend less(like a fizzy drink) in McDonald and spend more time. It will be problem for McDonald where they have to be politly ask the customer to order more food or drinks while they occupies the place. However McDonald has to consider to make their premisis to have WiFi area , where customers who wants to use the WiFi are to be seated at the WiFi area. By doing this McDonald will have better controll over their crowd.And McDonald can also have special counter made for these customers. Just a suggestion .... regards.

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