(London February 24, 2010) – Information released today by iBAHN, the worldwide leader in digital entertainment and internet solutions for the hospitality and meeting industries, shows phenomenal demand for next-generation services in European Middle East and Africa in 2009.
iBAHN continues to set the benchmark for business and leisure guest services at leading hotels throughout the region. The company’s ETVi service was in high demand, with the installed base increasing by 46% in 2009.
ETVi delivers digital services direct to the guest room, combining digital TV entertainment with superb HD picture quality, which is vastly superior to analogue systems, on widescreen displays.
Strong growth in take-up of ETVi in the region was mirrored by the exceptional increase in internet use by both business and leisure guests at leading hotels, as measured by number of data packets per guest session on iBAHN’s proprietary network, which rose by 134% in the past year in the EMEA region.
The usage growth confirms predictions from an iBAHN-commissioned, 2009 study of frequent business travellers conducted by Ypartnership, author of the closely-watched National Travel Monitor™. This indicates the rapidly growing need for hotels to provide guests with high-speed internet access to meet demand for online content such as video and music, as well as conferencing requirements.
YPartnership discovered that more than two-thirds of frequent business travellers have downloaded music onto their computers (67%) while nearly 60% have downloaded video. Additionally, more than a half have downloaded news (54%) or entertainment (52%) onto their computers. Downloads of video and music consume considerably higher bandwidth and data than the average email or browsing session.
Moreover, this trend has profound implications for hoteliers as it clearly points to the conclusion that the “free to guest” model of providing free access in all locations of the hotel at all times, and to all guests, is economically unrealistic given guests’ differing bandwidth needs.
Hoteliers will see higher overall expenses related to their broadband offering, without commensurate benefits in either daily rates or occupancy. If the additional investment is not made, guest satisfaction with the internet service will decrease. Earlier studies have shown that guests will not return to hotels where they have an unsatisfactory internet experience.
The growth of ETVi usage is complemented by iBAHN’s third year of successive growth in the EMEA region, which confirms its position as global leader and innovator in the market, where tough economic conditions of the past year have seen many competitors struggling to survive.
Graeme Powell, iBAHN’s Managing Director EMEA, comments: “Our results clearly demonstrate the need for hoteliers to provide not only high-speed, secure internet access for their guests but also to deliver the highest quality entertainment services. We are leading the way in the provision of next-generation services that meet this demand and in the past year have partnered with a growing number of leading hotels across the EMEA region, including the Netherlands, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt and France with ongoing installations in South Africa and Spain. This is in addition to the countries including the UK, Eire, Austria and Germany, where iBAHN already has a strong presence.”
iBAHN is the only global provider of digital entertainment and Internet solutions for the hospitality and meeting industries. Monthly, more than 1.7 million travellers and meeting attendees rely on iBAHN to increase productivity with secure high-speed internet access options in more than 2,500 hotels, conference centres and meeting spaces in 34 countries worldwide across six continents. iBAHN’s digital entertainment offering, ETVi, offers hotel guests leading digital video and entertainment services. Operating one of the largest MPLS networks in the industry, the company provides technology solutions to more than 50,000 events annually, ranging from small group meetings to major industry conferences, while serving more than a third of Fortune 100 corporations. For more information, please visit www.ibahn.com