Normally when I head out on the road, I find a hotel with a free Internet connection and, if it’s wired, use my Linksys Travel Router to create a wireless access point so that I can run not only my PC but also my Nokia N800 and N95 over WiFi. This combination gives me world wide access to telephony, not only over Skype but also Truphone (N95) and GTalk (N800). I should also mention that a six-outlet, surge protected power bar is constantly in my luggage.
Andy at VoIP Watch, a self-confessed Global Nomad, has provided, in his Working Anywhere blog, the “Complete Guide for Hotel Managers” when hosting the technologically-enabled road warrior as a hotel guest. But I’m surprised he overlooked the need for an in-room wine cellar complete with “Shiraz on Tap”!
In reserving my room for the Skype Developers Conference next week, I did find a new hotel service: Hilton Hotels now offer their new “Stay Connected @ Hilton program available for $12.95 plus tax per 24 hour period. Includes wireless high Speed Internet Access, Unlimited Local Calls and Unlimited Long Distance Calls within the Continental US.” Looks like VoIP and Internet connectivity for the rest of the world that does not lug along their PC and associated hardware. (Included with the basic room rate is wired high speed Internet).
A resort with which I have had an affiliation for several years has seen their once very profitable long distance revenue drop off by 95% over the past few years due to both mobile phones and guest-triggered VoIP use in the hotel room. Seems like Hilton has figured out a way to recover some of that revenue from at least the non-technologically enabled.