Hotel guests are increasingly finding that they cannot manage without high-speed internet connections, as the rising use of hotel broadband services testifies.
Although initial attempts to sell broadband to hotel guests were not widely successful, the market is maturing rapidly, according to industry experts.
In-Stat/MDR said in a recent report that the hotel broadband market continues to heat up, with deployments and revenues climbing substantially in 2004.
The analyst firm expects the total number hotel broadband deployments to rocket from 5,200 in 2003 to 26,800 by 2008.
"The primary driving factor is guest demand for broadband services," said Amy Cravens, a senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR.
Despite a seeming collapse of hotel broadband in 2001, the Instat report noted that a "fury of deployment activity is occurring" as hotels across the board, from small no-frills properties to large luxury resorts, are viewing broadband as a "must have".
"Hotels see broadband now as an essential element of the guestroom. Along with a bed, telephone and TV, there must be broadband access," said Cravens.
The analyst indicated that the most significant new trend in hotels is the use of wireless local area networks, which have moved from public areas and meeting rooms into guestrooms.
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