Would You Like Wi-Fi with That? McDonald's to Offer Free Wireless Service

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Beginning next month, McDonald's will do away with its $2.95 fee that it had been charging its customers for two hours of wireless Internet access, and will add free Wi-Fi to its menu , David Grooms, McDonald's USA Chief Information Officer, said in an interview.

Making the free access possible is AT&T, which has partnered with the fast food chain to offer free wireless through most of its restaurants. Financial details of the deal, however, were not disclosed.

McDonald's decision to make the switch to free Wi-Fi comes as the chain tries to transform itself into a social hangout and not just a greasy burger joint. In addition to its wireless plans, McDonald's will also begin selling frappes and smoothies in most of its stores by mid-2010.

"We're becoming a destination and free Wi-Fi just naturally fits," Grooms added. "This is another long-term investment that we see helps McDonald's stay relevant as a brand in the marketplace."

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