Wayport Macs Up
Wayport, which ran trials for the chain in the San Francisco Bay Area, won the hotly contested contract over rivals such as AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), Cometa Networks Inc., and Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502). (See Wayport: Wi-Fries & MCI and Cometa's Hotspot Happy Meal.)
McDonald's and Wayport are already converting trial sites in Seattle, Chicago, and New York over to the Wayport service, saying further regions will be announced "in the coming months."
The largest "restaurant" chain in the U.S. will support the 802.11b (11 Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) and 802.11g (54 Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) standards. Customers will pay $2.95 for a two-hour wireless connection, while Wayport is offering a $29.95 unlimited monthly plan across the entire network.
The project could be good news for Wayport's many roaming partners. The private company, established in 1996, has deals with most of the major players on the U.S. hotspot scene, allowing its customers access to partner networks and vice versa (see Hotspot Roaming 'Required').
Its not yet clear how the McDonald's deal will fit in with this roaming mix. "Service options available via roaming partners will be announced soon," says the marketing fluff.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung