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McDonald's moves to O2 for free Wi-Fi access

Service previosuly supplied by BT Openzone and The Cloud

McDonald's is migrating all its free UK Wi-Fi hotspots to O2 managed systems as part of a five-year deal.

The fast food chain said 750,000 customers are logging in each month and a single deal with O2 would provide "enhanced network connectivity". The Wi-Fi connectivity at its sites was previously provided through deals with BT Openzone and The Cloud.

Some McDonald's Wi-Fi users at busy locations have at times complained of limited access. Cost savings, if any, from moving to a single provider have not been outlined.

The chain, which has 1,200-branches in the UK, has provided free Wi-Fi since 2007. It said it will complete the migration by this summer in time for the Olympics. Users of the service sign-up once and use it at any McDonald's.

Mark Fabes, IT director at McDonald's UK, said: "Since 2007 usage has soared, with growing numbers of professionals making use of our restaurant Wi-Fi for business meetings and remote working."

Restaurant and pub chain Mitchells and Butlers, store group House of Fraser, and Westminster Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington already use O2 to offer free Wi-Fi to the public.

The integration of mobile networks and Wi-Fi promises to make hotspots more popular and easier to access, but it will also put pressure on providers to improve performance, according to hotspot aggregator Boingo Wireless.


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