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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 06:38 GMT 07:38 UK
McDonald's 'to offer web access'
McDonald's Japan's former president Den Fujita
Japan's love for technology is boundless
McDonald's fast-food burger restaurants in Japan are reportedly about to offer equally speedy access to the web.

The burger firm has signed a deal with the internet investor Softbank which will lead to the installation of high-speed internet services in almost 4,000 of its restaurants, according to the news daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The partnership would enable McDonald's to attract more customers, while Softbank's broadband business would be given a boost, the paper said.

The installation of a so-called wireless LAN network would allow people with a laptop, or a handheld device like a palmtop, to send and receive data at broadband speed while they are away from their home or office.

Quick result

Testing of Softbank's equipment in McDonald's restaurants was due to take place this month, the newspaper said.

If the tests are successful, the network could be installed later this year.

The installation of LAN networks has become popular in Japanese restaurants and cafes as it is relatively cheap.

Neither company would comment ahead of a scheduled news conference at 0800 GMT.

Softbank shares fell 2.39% to 1,875 yen while McDonald's Japan shares gained 3.46% to 2,990 yen.

See also:

19 Apr 02 | Business
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How Ronald got le boot
16 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Blast rocks Chinese McDonald's
17 Oct 01 | Business
McDonald's launches shake-up
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26 Jul 01 | Business
Sizzling start for McDonald's Japan
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