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Analyst labels McDonalds' wireless strategy "confusing"

"It is confusing and expensive," IDC senior analyst for wireless communication, Warren Chaisatien, says about the hotspots set up by Telstra in 44 McDonalds restaurants in Australia.Chaisatien adds -It has a very high cost in both corporate and consumer perspective.
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Written by Kristyn Maslog-Levis on
"It is confusing and expensive," IDC senior analyst for wireless communication, Warren Chaisatien, says about the hotspots set up by Telstra in 44 McDonalds restaurants in Australia.

Chaisatien adds -It has a very high cost in both corporate and consumer perspective. You go into McDonalds and order a AU$4.50 burger and pay around AU$6 to AU$10 for your WiFi use. It is more expensive than the food you are eating.

"In the past, Telstra has targeted business users with their hotels and airport hotspots but I think a fastfood chain is totally different. They are trying to attack both ends of the market, the regular fastfood consumers and the businessmen," Chaisatien says.

Leica Ison, Telstra general manager for messaging, says McDonalds was chosen mainly because of its global coverage and wide range of locations in the country.

"The partnership makes a lot of sense especially since we want to emphasise customer awareness on this technology and the best location to tap into people is in places where people often stop, like McDonalds".

Tibor Schwartz, Telstra group manager for wireless messaging, says they are also looking at other locations for the hotspots in the next couple of months, mainly in areas where people on the go stop to take their breaks or do some work.

But Chaisatien believes the Australian market is not ready for the café and fast food hotspots. "It is a deliberate experience. People do not intentionally carry their laptops to fastfoods and cafes like they do with their phones. In general the move is good, but I don't think there is money to be made in this market. No wireless hotspot provider in Australia is making money". In a strategic level, Chaisatien believes the fasfood hotspots are a long shot. He says revenue of this will come in the long run, especially if price points go lower for customers by the end of the year.

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