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07/05/02 . BBC Business News . BBC Online . UK
McDonald's 'to offer web access'
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.
Testing of Softbank's equipment in McDonald's restaurants are 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.