Wayport: Wi-Fries & MCI
Wayport, which already has a network of around 500 public access wireless LAN hotspots in hotels and airports around the U.S. and deals with AT&T Wireless Services Inc. (NYSE: AWE) and others, is installing hotspots in 75 Mickey Ds around the Bay Area.
However, this wireless LAN deployment is clearly just the tip of the iceberg [ed. note: lettuce?] for the keepers of the golden arches. McDonalds, which is the largest franchise in the U.S., says that it will roll out further hotspot sites in New York and Chicago in the coming months.
The burger behemoth has already teamed up with Cometa Networks Inc. to roll out ten sites in NYC (see Cometa's Hotspot Hassles). However, a spokeswoman for the company says that its new agreement with Wayport has no affect on the Cometa deal and none of its hotspot supplier agreements are exclusive. "These are all pilot schemes," she tells Unstrung.
Meanwhile, MCI says that its customers can now access their corporate networks, VPNs, and the Internet hotspots in airports, hotels, and soon -- you guessed it -- McDonalds joints through its new roaming deal with Wayport. MCI is now incorporating an 802.11 option in its Corporate Dial network connectivity client software for business travelers.
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung