When is VoIP technology coming to hotels?

Vtech CTM S2421 guestroom telephone (Vtech CTM)

This article is part three of a three-part series on guestroom telephones. Here is part one and here is part two.  

The world has been switching to internet protocol, the experts have said, so it makes sense that hotels should make the move to voice over internet protocol. It has been used in new-build hotels and remodeled hotels because of the infrastructure it takes to implement such a cabling system.

Mitch Heinlein, VP of sales and marketing for Bittel Americas, said VoIP has gained a lot of ground. “For the first time, 50 percent of new-build hotels are being built with VoIP,” he said. “There are no feature benefits for the guest but it saves the hotel on infrastructure.”

But because the transition to VoIP phones in the guestroom has been relatively seamless and guests are not generally aware of differences between an analog and VoIP phone in the room, it sometimes appears that VoIP penetration in hospitality has been limited, said John Grubb, SVP of marketing for Cetis.

“IP phones are not just limited to the four- and five-star hotels,” said Chad Collins, senior sales director, Americas for VTech Telecommunications. “We have seen a lot of sales to the Courtyards of the world. Price isn’t really that much of a difference when going from analog to IP.”

When moving to an IP phone in the guestroom, Collins warns that hoteliers need to be aware if the network is down. “Traditionally housekeeping would replace the phone if it broke or went down, or if the phone is o the hook the front desk could send someone up to see if there are safety issues with the guest,” he said. “But with IP phones, the hotel isn’t aware of these things. The hotel needs to know if a phone falls o the network before the guest does.”