23 APRIL 2012


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Article from BTNews 23 APRIL 2012

CNN debates wi-fi

Alisha Durgahee, CNN’s investigative business travel reporter, has been rushing about to get hoteliers’ views on wi-fi, and that of providers too.  She has interviewed Kurt Ritter, President of Rezidor Hotel Group, Monika Neger, Chief Information Officer of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Juliana Shallcross, Managing Editor of HotelChatter and Joe Germanotta, CEO of wi-fi provider GuestWiFi.  

Now that mobile phones have rendered hotel room phones largely obsolete, wi-fi is the new bugbear for today's traveller.

The Rezidor Group owns mid-tier chain Radisson Blu and has offered free wi-fi since 1995, which is now available in more than 50,000 rooms worldwide.

For hotel guests there is the added frustration of inconsistency.  Some hotels charge for wi-fi per device, others offer it free only to loyalty members; some chain hotels offer free wi-fi at their budget brands but charge for it at their luxury ones; sometimes wi-fi is free in the lobby.  With no set rules, hotels charge as much or as little as they like.  In London the Hilton Mayfair is £20 per day, £10 The Savoy and £30 at The Ritz Hotel.  The Four Seasons is free.  For the full interview see. www.cnn.com

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