Marriott to Offer Wireless Internet in Hotels Worldwide

By Mark Berniker

December 19, 2002

Hotel chain teams with STSN for service in 400 hotels.

Marriott International says it will begin installing high-speed wireless Internet access at some of its hotels worldwide.

Marriott is partnering with STSN, based in Salt Lake City, which will serve as the wireless Internet provider. The announcement of the deal comes as STSN said it is receiving an infusion of capital from the Intel Communications Fund, which has said it is investing $150 million in several companies pursuing the development of WiFi technology.

STSN and Marriott have just concluded a 7-month test of the technology in hotels in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. The wireless service will be available in hotel lobbies, meeting rooms and public spaces, and will complement existing in-room high-speed Internet access at Marriott's hotels.

STSN is billing itself as a leading provider of broadband services to hotels and is not only partnering with Marriott, but AT&T , Intel , Electronics for Imaging, Equant , On Command, Siemens and MagiNet, as well.

Marriott says it will deploy the wireless Internet system in hotels in the U.S., United Kingdom and Germany.

STSN's wireless service is compatible with both 802.11a and 802.11b wireless standards, and is accessible through computers equipped with antennas and sniffer software or the most recent versions of operating systems from Microsoft and Apple, which automatically detect the wireless networks.

Marriott says this announcement marks "the largest deployment of wireless high-speed Internet access in the hotel industry." But Marriott will offer the WiFi service in less than a sixth of all of its hotels worldwide. A firm date was not set for completion of the project but STSN recently said it expects current deployments to be finished by June 2003.

Neither Marriott nor STSN disclosed any details about pricing, but Marriott's current in-room, high-speed wireline Internet access service costs $9.95 per night.

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