Intel, McDonald's pair fast access with fast food

Intel, McDonald's pair fast access with fast food

McDonald's customers may soon be asked whether they would like a free hour of McWireless access to go along with their Extra Value Meal, thanks to a deal the fast food chain made with Intel.

To coincide with the semi-conductor's launch of its new Centrino mobile technology, Intel announced that it was launching a joint marketing campaign to offer high-speed wireless Internet access in 10 Manhattan McDonald's restaurants, with plans to expand the deal to hundreds of other locations by the end of 2003.

What's more, for the next three months, customers in participating restaurants with wireless-enabled laptops will be offered a free hour of wireless Net access when they purchase a McDonald's Extra Value Meal. Customers can also buy an hour of wireless access for $US3.

The companies hope to launch the wireless services in hundreds of other McDonald's locations in New York City, Chicago and California by the end of the year.

Intel has also scored a similar deal with book, music and video retailer, Borders Group, under which the companies will jointly market Intel-verifed wireless Internet zones, or hotspots.

Border's wireless services are provided by T-Mobile USA, but the networks are compatible with the Centrino mobile technology, Intel said.

The chipmaker said that its wireless verification program includes engineering and testing of the Intel Centrino mobile technology with network architecture that supports various access points, software combinations, hotspot locations and wireless service providers.

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