Hotel Online  Special Report
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Hospitality Technologies/services Rolled
Out in 2006: Are You in the Know?
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - (Jan. 9, 2007) 

New Products and Services

For Hoteliers

Speed Solution, rolled out in March 2006, provides High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) as well as ongoing support at absolutely no cost to hoteliers.  The innovative business model allocates bandwidth and charges a fee to guests for a premium version of the service, ideal for those who run bandwidth-intensive applications (such as corporate travelers, guests downloading large files and online gamers).  However guests who simply wish to check e-mail, chat and do some web browsing, have a free-of-charge, basic service available to them that actually exceeds current brand standards for connectivity speeds. 

• iBAHN’s Platinum Service Team -- piloted in two regions over the summer and rolled out across North America during the fall -- is a personal, high-touch service, specially designed to benefit high-end hotel properties with large conference spaces requiring individually tailored, complex Internet solutions.  The new customer service model provides hoteliers with the excellent customer care they’ve come to expect from iBAHN, but with a dedicated regional team of experts including technicians and account managers on-hand to quickly respond to immediate requests.

• The iBAHN Airline PC (officially launched during fall 2006), provides free boarding pass printing services to hotel guests in the hotel lobby before heading out to the airport.  The unit, which is a limited version of iBAHN’s industry leading Lobby PC (currently installed in more than 1,000 hotels worldwide), provides free access to all major airline websites.  iBAHN also added the Airline button feature in its existing Lobby PC.  In addition, the iBAHN Airline PC (similar to the Lobby PC and Conference PC) has enterprise-grade security features and provides users a “clean PC” since the computer system clears all session information (cookies, passwords, site history, etc.) between users.

For Meetings

• Meetings can be more interactive and productive thanks to unique, turnkey event network software, that allows for real-time audience response.  During fall 2006, iBAHN aligned with VisionTree Software, Inc. on the creation of VisionTree® Conference Enterprise – a solution that makes it possible for panelists to present information, gain immediate audience feedback through custom surveys and free-text input, and collaborate in real-time while gathering relevant data.  The software can then present the data to the audience in the form of graphs and charts for immediate analysis…bringing the meeting to a new level of interaction.

• At HITEC 2006, iBAHN launched the iBAHN Conference PC, a complete hotel guest computer system with the flexibility of wireless.  The iBAHN Conference PC is a wireless version of iBAHN’s industry leading Lobby PC (installed in more than 1,000 hotels globally) and is specifically designed for use in or outside of conference spaces, and can be easily moved to any location within the hotel that has Wi-Fi service.  The unit provides a low-maintenance, high-value solution for hoteliers who wish to provide additional services to their conference planners.  In addition, the iBAHN Conference PC (similar to the Lobby PC and Airline PC) has enterprise-grade security features and provides users a “clean PC” since the computer system clears all session information (cookies, passwords, site history, etc.) between users.

For Hoteliers and Meetings

• In November 2006, iBAHN announced a new connectivity solution that eliminates Internet downtime.  For hoteliers and conference centers, this means no more waiting for the Internet to come back online while dealing with dissatisfied guests and attendees.  The solution, called iBAHN SmartLink, is the latest addition to the iBAHN Network Advantage family of connectivity options.  iBAHN SmartLink employs a backup circuit that immediately activates if the primary system is disrupted or fails.  Plainly stated, overall Internet usage by guests and staff remains virtually uninterrupted.

Upgrades

• True to their commitment to providing broadband service of the highest quality, iBAHN devoted almost $2 million to updating partner hotels’ infrastructures throughout 2006.  Some of the changes included a refresh of on-site hotel systems (as warranted) and new architecture to facilitate unrivaled delivery capabilities for new broadband applications, such as video on demand, multi-casting, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).  These advanced features have already resulted in higher guest satisfaction, as the new infrastructure technologies will allow guests to surf the web and make downloads at speeds that may have not been previously possible due to outdated or older equipment. 

• With broadband speed and security as the two most important issues to hotel guests, iBAHN created a Global Command Center (GCC) to ensure a seamless Internet experience for hoteliers and their clientele.  The GCC, which was announced in October 2006, allows for greater proactive quality monitoring of hotel broadband services.  In addition to a traditional 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that iBAHN currently operates to deal with day-to-day network maintenance and operational requirements, the GCC is focused on monitoring over 100,000 pieces of equipment to detect faulty performance before the guest notices it.  Additionally, the GCC protects properties on the iBAHN network by monitoring for viruses, malicious attacks and spam before they affect the broadband quality for hotel guests and conference attendees.  iBAHN’s GCC is based at the company’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Ut.

Other Notable Announcements

• iBAHN partnered with Verizon Business to meet hotel partners’ demands for greater capacity to support advanced applications used by business travelers, such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), multicasting and video conferencing.  To date, Verizon Business has installed multiple high-speed, high-capacity Private IP network connections in nearly 1,000 iBAHN locations throughout the U.S., with bandwidth port speeds of up to OC12, thereby quadrupling iBAHN’s capacity and enabling hotel guests and staff, as well as meeting planners, to benefit from enhanced service quality.

A Sneak Peek at 2007

So what can hoteliers and meeting planners expect in 2007?  VoIP, triple play and bandwidth prioritization are taking precedence, and iBAHN will expand offerings to lead the way in this trend that streamlines connectivity and can be cost-effective.  Meeting planners can also expect a wide array of custom-tailored services designed to make conferences more interactive and easier to manage, with innovative ways of gathering and presenting data to attendees. 

Security will become an even greater factor, as hackers adapt to new technologies.  Not all Internet providers are the same, and it’s integral that users understand when they risk using a connection open to malicious intent.  iBAHN continues to work to stay several steps beyond hackers, with its patented secure and robust network that actively monitors for viruses and spam.

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Contact:

Heather Keroes, YPB&R Public Relations
407-875-1111
Heather.Keroes@ypbr.com

Wendy Kelley, VP Marketing
iBAHN
801-563-2107
WKelley@ibahn.com

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Also See: iBAHN Eliminates Internet Downtime for Hotel Guests; iBAHN SmartLink™ Provides Fail-proof Access / November 2006
iBAHN Introduces Airline PC - Simplified Access to Airline Boarding Passes Provides a High Value For Hoteliers’ Guests / November 2006
iBAHN Launches Global Command Center to Centralize Proactive Monitoring of Network; New Global Command Center Will Allow Quicker Detection of and Response Time to Hotelier Needs / October 2006
More Interactive and Productive Meetings Possible Thanks to iBAHN and VisionTree; Leaders in Broadband and Communications Technology Provide Real-Time Audience Response Solutions / October 2006
Leading Broadband Provider iBAHN Creates Platinum Service Team Model; Platinum Service Team offers dedicated, high-touch assistance to hospitality partners / October 2006
iBAHN Names Hospitality Specialist James E. Jones as Vice President of Client Services, North American Hotels Group / July 2006

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