Light Reading

AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Feed
Light Reading
7/29/2003
50%
50%

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- AT&T today announced the next phase of a major wireless fidelity (wi-fi) initiative -- the launch of its new AT&T Wi-Fi Service, offered free beginning July 30 in 60 McDonald's restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Any McDonald's customer with a wi-fi-enabled device in one of these locations can obtain high-speed Internet service at no charge until the end of August and at $2.99 a day thereafter.

AT&T Wi-Fi Service enables computer and personal digital assistant (PDA) users to surf the Internet, send and receive e-mail and obtain a host of other high-speed wireless benefits without being tethered to wires.

"AT&T is using a creative array of approaches, partnerships and resources to make the promise of the worldwide web available to all kinds of customers -- people on the go, 'windshield warriors,' students and families ... anyone who wants the connectivity and convenience that AT&T offers," said Ray Solnik, Strategic Markets Vice President at AT&T Consumer.

Solnik noted that AT&T will provide the "face to the customer" when an Internet user logs on to AT&T Wi-Fi Service at McDonald's, ensuring the customer's experience is top-notch.

The AT&T Wi-Fi Service launch includes selected McDonald's outlets in Manhattan, Staten Island and parts of Westchester County. It also includes towns such as Edison, Middletown and Tinton Falls in New Jersey, and Danbury, Fairfield, and Stamford, Connecticut.

AT&T's approach to wi-fi is multi-faceted. In December 2002, it helped form Cometa Networks, a joint venture company that provides national wireless Internet access at a variety of retail locations throughout the United States. For Cometa, AT&T provides wi-fi networking services such as local access, Internet transport, network control, monitoring and management, as well as provisioning. Cometa, in turn, aggregates wi-fi "hotspots" so service providers such as AT&T can offer its customers wireless access to the Internet and their corporate networks.

Earlier this month, AT&T announced the integration of Wi-Fi as a broadband access option for customers of AT&T's industry-leading IP VPN services. Through a business relationship with access aggregator GRIC Communications Inc., AT&T IP VPN users can get wireless access from more than 2,100 hotels, airports and convention centers in at least 20 countries.

Solnik underscored the fact that AT&T will craft other agreements as necessary in order to ensure customers get the full benefits of wi-fi. "This is a technology that could make the benefits of the Internet more accessible," he added, "and nicely mirrors our mission of providing information and communications anytime, anywhere."

According to Parks Associates, there will be as many as 2.5 million wi-fi users in the U.S. by the end of the year. Another researcher, the Yankee Group, predicts 72,480 "hotspots" in the U.S. by 2007.

AT&T Corp.

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
lrmobile_castro
50%
50%
lrmobile_castro,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:28 PM
re: AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi
Some of those mcdonalds might be on the interstate (I-95) rest stops. That might have a little value.
Still, I am skeptical very skeptical. My guess is that the only thing that will exceed the hot spot rollout hype will be the hot spot take down de-hype which is sure to follow in a few years.

TheCommish
50%
50%
TheCommish,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:13 PM
re: AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi
I am intriqued by the wireless models being proposed, but is a fast food restaurant the right place? At what point do we say "give it a rest" and enjoy our meals? Plus, how do we conduct our business/leisure communications while Ronald and the host of kids romp nearby? For the restaurants, perhaps a meal is in the offering, but do we really want all those seats taken up for hours at a time? I would assume a Starbucks, Borders, or other establishment would be more in tune. I wish good luck to both the internet provider and the restaurant, but question their marriage.
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:07 PM
re: AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi
See, I'm waiting to see how this all pans out. I actually don't think its a terrible idea on Mickey's D part -- they want to try and go a bit further upmarket and they're trying to do it with WLAN and salads!

Now, I know in NYC or LA or San Fran you're probably not going to want to spend too much time in the restaurants, but if they eventually roll it out country-wide then business people outside of the metropolitan areas will know they can get wireless access at McDonalds, I think people are much more likely to set up meetings in McDonalds out in the sticks (as it were).

The question is, will the rollout ever get that far? I don't know the answer to that yet.

I wonder how much McDonalds is actually paying Cometa and Wayport for the pilot schemes they're running. I guess that it will all come down to cost in the end.

DJ Unstrung
spc_myles_telos
50%
50%
spc_myles_telos,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:41:53 PM
re: AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi
How do we know McD's is the one paying for the pilot? ;)
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:41:52 PM
re: AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi
Indeed
TheCommish
50%
50%
TheCommish,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:40:50 PM
re: AT&T Launches Fast-Food WiFi
I believe you are correct with the remarks about the larger size cities (SF, LA, CHI, etc), but I do not feel this will pan out in the smaller cities and towns either. If you've been there in the mid-mornings/afternoons, it is the hangout of the retired-generation. A gathering spot for a generation that does not surf the cyberworld. Perhaps a local chamber meeting? They will get together and discuss chamber business over pancakes/hamburgers/salads. Where's the need for WiFi when George or Betty are sitting there with you? At breakfast time or lunch time? Far too crowded and noisy.

Thus, where is the vast revenue needed to payback the costs in here?

For McD's, I feel they have nothing to lose. But, for the provider, there is a significant cost to install all that equipment and the other charges. Unless you have one heck of a sugar daddy with deep, deep pockets, the piper may come early.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
AT&T Testing Virtualized GPON
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 5/15/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones