Wifi internet access in hotels may soon be free

8 Mar 2007 by business traveller

The possibility of checking emails for free in your hotel room has moved a step closer, with the launch of a new service by iBAHN. The internet service provider has launched Speed Solution, allowing users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to choose between a basic or premium bandwidth product, with the former being offered on a complimentary basis.

Currently there are few chains in the UK that offer free internet access to guests (Radisson SAS and Malmaison are two such brands). But iBAHN has partnerships with over 2,100 hotels worldwide, including major brands like Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, De Vere, Rocco Forte and Ritz Carlton, raising the possibility of free internet usage for many more hotel guests.

The Speed Solution package offers guests the choice of a basic free internet connection at 128Kbps (enough for light email and web browsing) or a premium paid-for service up to the maximum line speed available at the hotel (minimum of 2Mb), for users looking to access video applications or download files and music. The latter is charged at iBAHN's standard rate of £15 per day or £6 per hour, while the basic package will be offered by the provider for free (although individual hotels may choose to charge a small fee for usage).

Says Graeme Powell, managing director for iBAHN Europe, Middle East and Africa,"Business travellers have been paying a one-cost-fits-all HSIA (high-speed internet access) charge for too long. While our customers tell us they are happy to pay for quality and reliable internet connection, we also feel it makes sense to match price with usage."

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Report by Mark Caswell

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