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Wayport Macs Up

Wayport Inc. has won the Big Mac of U.S. hotspot deals, as McDonalds says it has picked the company to serve up public access wireless LAN in 6,000 of its quasi-burger joints (see McDonald's Picks Wayport ).

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

reg64 12/5/2012 | 2:03:17 AM
re: Wayport Macs Up Pardon the pun in the subject line, but I really cannot envision the typical Wi-Fi user rolling into Macs and paying access fees to utilze the network. I think the perception of Macs as more of a kid friendly family oriented fast food outlet will be the big deterrent in attracting those users. The demographics just don't add up in this case.

I would be interested in the year 1 average for revenue/profit numbers across all the installed outlets. I get the feeling the performance will not be in the same league as a Starbucks (and that might not be saying much).
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