Wi-Fi Checks Into More Hotels

Wi-Fi Checks Into More Hotels

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Written By Eric Sandler

By Michael Singer

August 26, 2003

Checking into a hotel anytime soon? There are more than 400 new locations to choose from thanks to separate announcements Tuesday from Wi-Fi purveyors Boingo Wireless and Wayport.

As part of their roaming agreement Boingo said it will implement its system into all of Salt Lake City-based STSN’s wireless high-speed data connections. The partnership covers more than 565 hotels in North America, Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific region including major brands like Hilton, Marriott, Ritz Carlton and Sheridan.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Boingo said the deal adds 425 hotel properties to its national footprint. The company said it is in the process of synchronizing its software with STSN and expects all of the new hotels to got live over the next 90 days.

“Boingo’s roaming system has doubled in 2003 and now has more than 2,600 hot spot locations worldwide,” said Dave Hagan, president of Boingo. “We chose to partner with STSN because of its expansive presence in hotel properties and reputation for providing high-quality Wi-Fi service.”

On the flip side, Austin, Texas-based Wayport said it has struck a deal to provide high-speed Internet service in 11 hotels owned by FelCor Lodging Trust, the nation’s second-largest hotel real estate investment trust (REIT).

Wayport, which is best known for providing wireless access in 75 San Francisco-San Jose area McDonald’s, said it will offer wireless and wired service in guestrooms, meeting facilities and common areas in hotels of brands such as Doubletree, Sheraton and Hampton Inn.

The list includes Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner (Vienna, Va.), Sheraton Society Hill (Philadelphia, Pa.), Doubletree Guest Suites Raleigh/Durham, Doubletree Denver Southeast, Sheraton Gateway Suites – Chicago O’Hare, Hampton Inn – Dallas – West End/Convention Center, Doubletree Guest Suites – Charlotte/SouthPark (Charlotte, N.C.), Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center (Burlington, Vt.), Sheraton Gateway Hotel – Atlanta Airport, Doubletree Guest Suites – Walt Disney WorldResort, and Sheraton Suites Lexington (Lexington, Ky.).

“These FelCor properties are great locations for business travelers and add value to Wayport’s ever-growing nationwide network,” Wayport vice president of strategic business development Steve Fulford said in a statement. “Wayport’s comprehensive solution will give these hotels and their guests the complete high-speed Internet access service that has become a must-have for today’s traveler.”

Jupiter Research Wi-Fi analyst Julie Ask says the fact that deals with hotels are growing is testiment to the pervasiveness of Wi-Fi.

“We found 6 percent of consumers we surveyed have used high-speed wireless access in a public place while only 2 percent have used in a hotel,” she said. Although, 70 percent are aware that Wi-Fi exists and it’s likely they’ll try it soon.”

The media company’s research division is launching a new multiclient study to explore the market opportunity for Wi-Fi Hotspots as leading brands such as Starbucks and Marriott have recently struck partnerships and launched aggressive Wi-Fi initiatives.

Editor’s note: Jupiter Research is owned by the parent company of this Web site.

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