We’ll Leave the Lights On For You, but WiFi Will Cost

Motel 6 will may be keeping the lights on for you, but Internet connectivity from their hotels will cost you extra.

AT&T has entered into a contract with Motel 6 to provide managed Internet services. It’s likely what the PR-speak (below) actually means is that AT&T will provide connectivity to the hotels so that their management and reservations systems will all be online and connected by to HQ. Since the hotels will be connected anyway, by charging guests for WiFi access, Motel 6 will recoup a portion or all of its AT&T data costs. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Tom Bodett would be proud.

AT&T Enables Wi-Fi Connectivity at More than 600 U.S. Hotels for Motel 6

Dallas, Texas, June 25, 2008

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a $9 million contract with Accor North America (NA) and its Motel 6 brand, one of North America’s leading hotel companies and a subsidiary of Accor Worldwide. Under the three-year agreement, AT&T will provide Managed Internet Service (MIS) and firewall and router implementation services. The new services enable hotel guests to have Wi-Fi connectivity at a low price.

Through its leading nationwide economy lodging brands, Motel 6 and Studio 6, Accor NA aims to provide a premier customer experience at a low price. In an effort to provide what its guests want, Accor NA explored how to improve its services and respond to the needs of its guests.

“AT&T’s network upgrade enabled us to provide new and enhanced capabilities for our hotels, including our e-procurement system performance, e-learning tools and guest services such as Wi-Fi,” said Adrian M. Butler, vice president of Telecommunications and Support Service at Accor North America. “In less than five months, AT&T worked diligently to complete the implementation on time so that we are ready for the busy summer travel season.”

Recently, Accor NA reinvented the economy lodging experience with the announcement of the Motel 6 “Phoenix” prototype. Features in the entertainment unit include a cubby for personal items and a multimedia panel allowing guests to plug in their MP3 players, CD players and laptop computers — this feature allows guests to listen to their favorite tunes or use the flat-screen TV as their computer monitor while enjoying Wi-Fi Internet access in their room.

AT&T MIS provides high speed dedicated access with world-class reliability, optimal performance, scalability and security features. AT&T MIS provides managed, state-of-the-art hardware and software, smart routing capability and continuous performance monitoring of Internet Protocol (IP) services on AT&T’s world-class OC-192/OC-48 IP backbone. MIS also provides the flexibility to pave the way for future services over IP.

The AT&T network is highly scalable, offering Accor NA the flexibility to customize its network services to expand and increase to higher levels of bandwidth. In addition to network services, AT&T provides Accor NA with a full suite of voice and Internet access services.


Elements of Bad Wireless Site Design

And now, another entry into Kramer’s “Elements of Bad Wireless Site Design.” T-Mobile constructed a wireless site at a church in Milton, Mass.  The antennas are installed so that they are visible in the church’s T-Mobile in Milton MAtower.  The photo here, taken by my colleague, Claude shows the antenna as visibly installed, and then I’ve overlaid a photo simulation of a simple and inexpensive RF transparent screen that would have greatly enhanced the aesthetics of this project.  Planners should remember that the simple ‘last steps’ can make all the difference to a project.


PS: Claude is a member of WirelessAdvisor.com, and I use his photograph here with his kind permission.


New California Wireless Bill is DEAD

As first discussed in THIS POST, T-Mobile wanted to fling open the doors to public property for temporary cell sites during/after certain emergencies.  The bill was as drafted and later modified was riddled with problems and inconsistencies, and would have damaged Homeland Security.

I’m pleased to report that last week, SB 1252 was gutted by its author and swapped for some vehicle code section changes.  Same bill number; different bill text.

You can read more about the problems the bill would have caused by visiting http://www.TelecomLawFirm.com.

Score one for the good guys and gals.