Bell Canada to offer free Wi-Fi in Tim Hortons

The coffee-and-doughnut chain announced Thursday that it is working to roll out free wireless Internet to more than 2,000 locations.

It expects 90 per cent of its so-called "traditional" outlets across Canada will offer free Wi-Fi by September.

Individual locations were not disclosed in a press release, but Tim Hortons stated the plan does not include its non-traditional outlets, including kiosks, gas stations and hospital locations.

The service is being provided through an agreement with Bell. Financial terms were not released.

"The expansion of Bell's broadband Wi-Fi into more than 2,000 Tim Hortons locations underlines Bell's ability to deliver world-leading technology on a national scale," stated Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility.

Tim Hortons joins other chains such as McDonald's, Second Cup (TSX:SCU.UN) and Starbucks that already offer free Wi-Fi access at many of its locations.

In the first quarter, Tim Horton's sales were up 12 per cent to $721.3 million. Profits increased 10 per cent to $88.6 million or 56 cents per diluted share.

Bell Canada Enterprises reported first-quarter net earnings of $574 million, up 14 per cent from $503 million last year.

Bell is building a new secure data centre in Ottawa after signing long-term co-location contracts with three unnamed customers, totalling almost $100 million. That centre should be ready at the end of this year.

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