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AKJ helps McDonald's put free wi-fi on the menu

McDonald's customers will soon be able to connect to the Internet free of charge in almost 1,200 UK locations following a strategic reorganisation of the restaurant chain's Telecoms and ICT services by Aurora Kendrick James (AKJ) and McDonald's internal IS department.

Telecoms Management specialists AKJ who are long term advisors to McDonald's were asked to review the opportunities to deliver free public wi-fi across the company's restaurants.

After a comprehensive review, AKJ and McDonald's formalised an innovative solution that was capable of supporting both corporate and customer requirements within the requested cost constraints.

Based on a new converged network, the solution is able to offer secure, private corporate access as well as free wi-fi for customers, with the potential to deliver a wide range of additional services in the future.

The solution was conceived and developed in partnership between AKJ and the McDonald's IS team who recognised the importance of working with a partner on the roll out of the programme.

Following a formal review, wi-fi specialists The Cloud were selected to support the roll out and ongoing management of the free wireless network access.

This service will be made available in almost every McDonald's restaurant in the UK - a unique innovation on the UK High Street.

Darren Burne, UK Infrastructure Manager at McDonald's, said: "Providing free wi-fi access is seen as an exciting and important innovation for McDonald's.

Our partnership with AKJ has allowed us to arrive at a solution that not only meets our wi-fi objectives, but also offers a significant improvement to our corporate communications."

Matt Atkinson, managing director of AKJ said: "We are proud to be part of the McDonald's free customer wi-fi initiative.

That McDonald's were open and willing to accept the concept of using a converged network in this way is a great credit to their management team and raises the customer service bar in the highly competitive service food industry.

"At AKJ we firmly believe that effective telecoms management should extend way beyond simply reducing costs and our work with McDonald's proves that once an organisation gains ongoing control of their telecoms estate, they can start to focus their resources on identifying innovative ways that telecoms can be used to really enhance service or add value to a business and its customers."

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.