The long-awaited arrival of wireless Internet service is coming to more hotels near you. While still new to many travelers, tech-savvy customers are starting to look for this amenity when choosing accommodations. Several major hotel franchisors and companies are installing wireless systems to better serve these guests. For brands with a proven track record of satisfying customers with high-speed wired access in guest rooms, the leap to wireless is the next logical step to keepÊ loyal customers happy.
áÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ What’s Wi-Fi? It means high-speed access to the Internet without wires or plugs. It runs on a technology, also known as 802.11b, which uses transmitters to provide high-speed access to wireless-equipped computers or PDAs within a limited range. Guests can access the service within the range of a “hotspot” generally located in lobby areas and meeting rooms. For hotels, a big draw of Wi-Fi systems is that installation requires minimal wiring.
áÊÊÊÊÊÊÊÊ To maintain its position as a top pick among business travelers, Wingate Inns International is requiring wireless Internet service for all new hotels, building on the brand’s success with free in-room, high-speed Internet access. (www.wingateinns.com)
According to IDC, the number of hotspots around the world is expected to grow to 118,000 locations by 2005. (www.idc.com)
The Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly WECA) is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of IEEE 802.11 products and to promote them as the global, wireless LAN standard across all market segments, in support of 802.11 standards. (www.wi-fi.org)