San Francisco, Calif.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 9, 2003–Beginning this week, many McDonald’s restaurants around the Bay area will give customers another great reason to connect with the Golden Arches — by providing high-speed wireless access (known as Wi-Fi) for wireless-enabled notebook computers and handheld devices.
McDonald’s is the first quick service restaurant to offer high-speed wireless access in a major market.
The new Wi-Fi service will be available at approximately 75 McDonald’s restaurants around the Bay area with the majority going “live” today.
Participating McDonald’s restaurants are located in both urban and suburban settings from San Rafael to San Jose and from Pleasanton to Half Moon Bay. McDonald’s is leveraging its many convenient locations for the growing number of Wi-Fi users in the Bay area, including thousands of mobile professionals, business travelers, and students between home and school who increasingly need to connect to work, family and friends while on-the-go.
McDonald’s Bay Area pilot program is the first of three major metropolitan Wi-Fi tests McDonald’s is launching this summer. Wayport, the world’s largest provider of high-speed Internet access in hotels and airports, will provide the service for the Bay Area McDonald’s restaurants. Additionally, in an effort to enhance the end users’ wireless experience and enable interoperability, all McDonald’s Wi-Fi restaurants are verified with Intel Centrino(R) mobile technology.
In March, McDonald’s began a high-speed wireless test in ten New York City restaurants as part of the company’s plans to offer Wi-Fi at several hundred McDonald’s restaurants by year’s end. A number of New York City and Chicago McDonald’s restaurants will soon offer Wi-Fi access.
Customers can identify participating restaurants by signage that displays the Golden Arches in the universal Internet @ symbol. Cost for a two-hour wireless Internet connection at these locations is $4.95, with other options available.
Ralph Alvarez, executive vice president and chief operations officer for McDonald’s USA, said, “We are extending McDonald’s rich history of offering customers service, convenience and value that correspond to their daily lives by adding Wayport’s Wi-Fi service to select restaurants around the Bay Area. Today’s customer is more time-pressed than ever, and we think it’s important to meet the needs of busy professional and family lifestyles by offering services that are easy to use and relevant. We want the Golden Arches to be the first choice for a great meal and a place to go wireless.”
Dave Vucina, CEO of Wayport, added, “Participating in this pilot program at Bay Area restaurants is a natural extension of our existing service in hotels and airports. McDonald’s is leading the way in bringing this vital technology to millions of customers who need a convenient place to log on and work remotely or catch up with their daily schedules and correspondence while out of their home or office during the day. And now, in the San Francisco Bay Area, these guests will be able to connect either directly through Wayport or through our “roaming” partners who in total serve more than 60 million consumers.”
Additionally, McDonald’s and Intel Corporation are closely collaborating on plans to promote the pilot program through a joint marketing agreement. This includes advertising, in-store merchandising and a signage program that identifies where Intel-verified wireless Internet zones are located.
A complete list of McDonald’s restaurants with wireless access in the Bay area can be found at http://www.mcdwireless.com.
McDonald’s is the world’s leading foodservice retailer with more than 30,000 restaurants serving nearly 46 million people in more than 100 countries each day. Approximately 80 percent of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local businessmen and women. More information about McDonald’s is available at http://www.mcdonalds.com; for information about McDonald’s wireless initiative, visit http://www.mcdwireless.com.
About Wayport, Inc.
Wayport is the world’s largest provider of high-speed Wi-Fi (802.11b) wireless and wired Internet access in more than 565 major hotels, including such brands as Four Seasons, Loews, Wyndham, Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites, and Wi-Fi wireless Internet access in seven major airports: Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle-Tacoma, LaGuardia, San Jose, Austin-Bergstrom, Oakland and Minneapolis-St. Paul. At airports, travelers also can take advantage of Wayport’s 16 Laptop Lane airport business centers, which feature private offices with high-speed Internet access and other business services, as well as mobile devices and accessories for sale. Wayport also has roaming partnerships with companies including Verizon, AT&T Wireless, MCI, iPass, GRIC, Boingo and more to be announced soon, enabling access to their millions of customers. To learn more, please visit http://www.wayport.net.
About Intel Corporation
Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at http://www.intel.com/pressroom.
Note to editors: For McDonald’s Wi-Fi logo and billboard artwork, please visit http://www.mcdwireless.com/graphics.
GCI PR for Wayport