Berne, 20 November 2009
Travellers increasingly depend on their Smartphones to connect into their own environments in favour of using their laptops. During meetings or waiting times in hotel lobbies, guests stream their news or communicate over applications such as Skype® on their handhelds. As a network operator, Swisscom has seen bandwidth consumed through WiFi mobile phones rise constantly. Although download volumes are traditionally lower than those for laptops, the gap is closing very quickly. The average volume per handheld session recorded at Swisscom partner hotels is currently at 86MB, with many users going over 1GB. The average length of session is 14 hours.
The new service allows users to connect to the Internet in only three clicks. Once logged on, the guest can stay connected for 24 hours at a time. If he leaves the building, he is automatically re-connected when he comes back into the hotel. Wireless PMS integration enables a personalized user interface, seamless data processing and invoicing through the guest's room bill. Offering unlimited uploads and downloads at WiFi broadband speed, the new Swisscom service provides a superior experience at a competitive price.
Swisscom's new Smartphone WiFi service has been optimized for iPhones, Symbian phones such as the ones from Nokia, Google Androids and Windows Mobile devices. It is presently available in more than 1'100 partner locations across Europe and ready for rollout across Europe.
"More and more guests want to use their smartphones to access the Internet in our hotel," says Gordon Barker, Sales and Marketing Manager at Danesfield House Hotel and Spa, a Swisscom partner hotel near London Heathrow. "The mobile phone is more than just a device to make calls with, it also allows you to listen to your favourite music, chat to friends, send a quick photo of the breakfast buffet to relatives back home, so ultimately you never feel far away from your friends and family. Thanks to Swisscom, we will now be able to meet these requirements."
"The rise of the Smartphone reconfirms the long-term value of our wireless hotel technology", comments Leo Brand, CEO of Swisscom Hospitality Services. "In addition to providing connectivity to the guest, we can assist hotels in promoting their own services through customized applications. We are actively working with hotel chains on specific applications as well as on new, competitive functionalities for both hoteliers and guests to leverage the numerous possibilities of employing Smartphones in the hotel space."
Hospitality Services Plus Ltd, a fully-owned subsidiary of Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd, is a leader in converged technology solutions for the global hospitality industry. The company provides IP-based communication and entertainment solutions designed to meet the unique requirements of the world's finest hotels. Since 2003, the company has established a high-speed broadband network in more than 2,000 partner hotels in 18 European countries and the United States, encompassing some 223,000 hotel rooms. Moreover, the company provides customized network solutions at more than 10,000 meetings and events every year.