Hotel Online  Special Report


StayOnline’s 2nd Annual Symposium
Scores Broadband

..
 

ATLANTA—[June 19, 2006]—Expanding on the success of the first North American Wi-Fi symposium, event sponsor StayOnline gathered more than 80 hospitality technology movers and shakers in Miami late last month for a second symposium.  Whereas last year’s conference invited speakers and participants to blue sky the coming applications to be used over Wi-Fi, the focus for the 2nd Annual North American Wi-Fi Symposium was about the increased need for broadband to drive new applications, those that exist and those that are coming soon.

Presentations from top technology providers included AT&T, Cisco, Globestar Systems, Farpoint Group, Divitas and SpectraLink. 

Craig Mathias, an in-demand speaker from the Farpoint Group, who will also speak at HITEC this year, led off the event with a talk on the increased need for mobile wireless broadband solutions for business travelers.  Mathias addressed metro-scale Wi-Fi models, including those operated by cellular carriers, municipalities, WISPs, co-ops and freenets.

He also explored the evolution of WiMAX, WAN, WLAN and Wi-Fi, concluding that the ease, low cost and availability of Wi-Fi continues to make it the best solution for the hospitality industry.

“The latest phenomenom of Wi-Fi mesh is particularly appealing in terms of adding reach for hotel and resort properties that are spread out,” said Mathias.  “Mesh networks enhance the guest’s experience utilizing the existing wireless infrastructure.”

Eric Shepcaro, Sr. Vice President of AT&T’s Business Development division, took his speaking opportunity to drive home the point that broadband and wireless are revolutionizing the business traveler’s experience. “It’s an IP-based, networking-centric world,” said Shepcaro, “and with that challenge comes opportunity to create a unique guest experience that is scalable, introduce guests to new and additional services, generate behind-the-scenes operational efficiencies, make more effective use of staff time, strengthen brand loyalty and build repeat business, and boost occupancy rates and profitability.”

“The demand first for an Internet connection, then for the ability to transmit mail and share files, and now for downloading of large music and movie files and podcasts increases the bandwidth requirement of our hotel customers, in order to effectively meet the needs of the guests,” said Antonio DiMilia, president and CEO, StayOnline. 

“And, in addition,” said Shepcaro, “video surveillance and archiving, the use of RFID for inventory and security purposes and the use of E-loyalty and data-mining programs also increase the bandwidth requirement from a back haul standpoint.”

According to Shepcaro and AT&T research, total wireless service spending in the hospitality sector is expected to increase from $730 million in 2005, to nearly $1.2 billion by 2012.  He reasoned that this increase is due to a number of factors including: the migration towards IP Telephony, which allows easier integration within existing applications at lower costs; and the benefits of investing in telecom which can result in improved staff productivity, operating efficiencies and increased efficiencies in property management.

Richard Watson, Director of Product Management for DiVitas Networks, unveiled his company’s enterprise-centric mobility communications platform that is device, OS, and network independent.  According to Gartner, by 2008, 80% of enterprise users will use VoIP over WLAN for business use.  DiVitas offers a device and software which provides enterprise customers with the ability to use dual-mode phones and seamlessly control the usage and cost of cellular airtime for employee users.

Watson also underscored the statistic that by 2009 there will be over 36 million cell phones with dual chip technology in use in the US.

Watson also emphasized the need for greater bandwidth in the coming convergence of VoIP and cellular phone service.  “Congestion can be a problem where people congregate, and overlapping coverage is important for good voice quality,” he said. “Wireless voice alone requires approximately 140-180Kbps.”

Alex Cioth, Vice President of Marketing & Product Management for SpectraLink, discussed communication inefficiencies that hotel management teams and employees often face in operations.

“Traditional communication, namely landline phones, two-way radios and even cellular phones, result in delays and inefficiencies all around,” said Cioth. “Wireless telephony deployment not only severely reduces theses inefficiencies, but also results in maximized guest satisfaction through instant personalized service and real time staff contact.”

SpectraLink, which is primarily in the business of providing VoIP phone sets for enterprise operations and hospitality facilities, believes that its offerings easily integrate with existing technologies, provide better security and increased RevPAR.

“All of the solutions in place or proposed by our presenters have the benefit of running over existing wireless networks of the type that we install in our customer hotels, resorts and vacation properties,” said DiMilia.  “This maximizes the initial ROI that the customer has spent on their wireless network and allows for great flexibility to meet the increasing guest and back hall bandwidth needs.”

The need for the Symposium and the information presented was echoed by many of the attendees.  “The second annual Wi-Fi Symposium was very informative and timely. I met a lot of good contacts and I am bringing back lots of information to use at the Renaissance Nashville and my other Marriott properties,” said Mickey Keaton, Director of Hotel Technology for Renaissance Nashville Hotel. “As far as the content of the meetings, the speakers were all quite knowledgeable in their fields and all brought good information to the table.”

About StayOnline®
StayOnline's wireless High-Speed Internet solution is installed in over 135,000 guest rooms in more than 800 hotels and resorts across North America. StayOnline is an approved or Preferred vendor for all major hotel brands.  For additional information on StayOnline, visit www.stayonline.net .

Visit StayOnline at HITEC 2006, Minneapolis
Convention Center, June 20 – 22
Booth #1615


 

Contact:

Karin Koser
KPK & Co.
404.636.9311
Karin@kpkco.com
or
Alaina Robertson
KPK & Co.
404-636-9311
alaina@kpkco.com


Also See: Second Wi-Fi Symposium to Focus on Bandwidth Needs / May 2006
StayOnline Debuts Customer Reporting System / March 2006
StayOnline Provides Proprietary Bandwidth Shaping Tool to Clients; New GuestPass DirectorSM is Next-Generation Firewall for HSIS / Feburary 2006
StayOnline Brings in the New Year with Major New Initiatives, Expanded Portfolio / January 2006
Tharaldson Communications Inc. Is StayOnline's First Premier Solutions Partner; Tharaldson to Provide StayOnline’s Managed Network Services to Current and Future Customers / January 2006
StayOnline Inks Exclusive Deal with Omni Hotels; Wireless HSIA Provider Adds Another Luxury Brand to its Footprint / January 2006
Windsor Capital Group Enlists StayOnline as Preferred Wireless Provider; StayOnline Continues to Dominate Hospitality Industry Niche / January 2006
Vacation Ownership Resorts Adding High Value Amenities and Infrastructure; StayOnline Completes Installation in Six Hilton Grand Vacation Club Properties / December 2005
StayOnline and Great Wolf Resorts - It's a Family Affair; Family Resorts Follow the Trend of Staying in Touch, Even on Vacation / October 2005
StayOnline Receives $15 Million from Technology Investment Capital Corp. / September 2005
StayOnline Tapped by Spectralink to Offer WI-FI Telephony to Hospitality Industry / August 2005
StayOnline Helps Bring Soldier  "Home" for Sister's Wedding; Technology Conduit for Reuniting Family Members / July 2005
Congress Hall Resort Hotel Blends History and High Tech with StayOnline / May 2005
StayOnline Strengthens Management Team with Three New Hires; Wireless Hospitality Professionals Parrish, Lewis and Watkins Join Company / April 2005
StayOnline Designs New Generation Wireless for San Francisco's Intercontinental Mark Hopkins / April 2005
StayOnline Shapes the Future of Hospitality WiFi with Industry Leaders; Wireless Solutions Company to Host Symposium on WiFi and Mobility Computing in Hospitality in April / March 2005
Hilton Grand Vacations Company Selects StayOnline for Wireless Expertise / March 2005
The Madison Pairs History with New Technology; DC Landmark Property Installs StayOnline's Wireless Solution / February 2005
Ely, Minnesota Resort Goes Wireless with StayOnline / November 2004
StayOnline Takes Emily Wireless; Fast-Moving Company Combines Technology with Tradition at the historic Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio / September 2004
StayOnline Takes Waikiki Wireless; Moves into Hawaii Resort with Largest 100% Wireless Coverage Install to Date / September 2004
Stranded Airline Passengers and Regular Guests Benefit from StayOnline's Wireless Solution in Dayton / August 2004
New Renaissance Las Vegas to Offer StayOnline's Wired and Wireless Network / August 2004
Highpointe Goes 100% Wireless with StayOnline / June 2004
StayOnline Announces New QuickResponseCoveragePlusSM Wireless HSIA Leader Sets Itself Apart with Innovative Repair Program / June 2004
StayOnline Offers Smooth Sailing/Surfing at Sailport Resort / June 2004
College Station Property Goes Fully Wireless; Lane Hospitality Taps StayOnline Again / June 2004
Mike Henderson Promoted at StayOnline, Inc. / May 2004
Wireless Joins Active Duty at Five CWB Properties; StayOnline Keeps Military Reservists and Other Guests Connected  to Home / May 2004
Chicago’s Historic InterContinental Hotel Goes Fully Wireless in Record Time; StayOnline Meets Hotel’s Challenge for Installation and Coverage / May 2004
StayOnline Helps Hilton Woodcliff Break New Ground; Hotel Noted as State’s Most Technologically Advanced Meeting Venue Adds Wireless Internet Access / May 2004
Amalfi Hotel Connects with StayOnline / May 2004
A Complete Set; Pineapple Management Services Signs with StayOnline to Install Wireless HSIA in Remainder of Properties / May 2004
StayOnline Connects Atlanta’s Historic Georgian Terrace Hotel; Complimentary Wireless Internet Service Now Available for Guests / May 2004
StayOnline Reports Explosive Growth in Usage of Broadband Wireless Service - Wireless User Take Rates Now Match Wired in Hospitality Setting / April 2004
Making the Connection Without Wires; Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre finds Positive + Connection with Wireless / February 2004
History Meets High Tech; Holiday Inn at Six Flags Brings High-speed Internet to 1800’s Building / March 2004

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