(When) will phones disappear from hotel rooms?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by traveltoomuch, Jul 21, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    In the last twenty years, we've gone from hotels typically not having Internet service, to some having it and charging for it, to it being absolutely expected and generally included in the room price. Nevermind the details of whether that service is delivered over wires or WiFi. And that new technology, of course, comes with some cost for the hotels, both capex and ongoing. And pondering that "new" expense led me to ponder other expenses hotels have had to take on over the years (telephones!, Air conditioning!, color TV! - I'm remembering hotel billboards from my youth). And that leads me to wonder:

    Which of these technologies will stop being requirements for hotel rooms, and when?

    Specifically, will telephones ever vanish from hotel rooms? I'm sure we'll see more hotels moving to IP phones, if only to reduce the cost of their phone switch, but that still requires (for now, in general) a wired network connection to each room. But will we ever see the guest room phones completely go away? Will we just have a card providing a number for the front desk that we're expected to call on our own devices?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  2. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Possibly. But there are times when you don't have a device (e.g. the casual traveller overseas whose home device either doesn't connect locally or for whom it'seems prohibitively expensive), or you might need functions beyond calling the front desk such as room to room communications. Those will need to be worked out before phones can be phased out. And, of course, hotels like having the convenience of a one-touch button for you to call them.
  3. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    I have to agree with @YULtide here. I think the benefits of hotels having them (calling hotel departments for extra-charge services for one) can quickly outweigh the expense of upkeep, although VoIP seems a likely candidate to reduce said maintenance cost.
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    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I think the short answer is when every cellar service provider can provide service to every hotel room in the country and that really isn't the case right now.

    Longer answer is when every pay phone is gone.

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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I suspect they'll first disappear from motels and lower end hotels that don't offer any value-add services (room service, dry cleaning) and that don't see much traffic from international guests.
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  6. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    in Hong Kong, better hotels are putting mobile phones in the room to use while you are in town, good for local calls and already loaded with tourist site info, restaurants, consulates, bars, GPS.......... these phones could easily replace the land lines as well :eek:

    the cost of an old model smart phone is negligible these days, so I do see better hotels eliminating land lines at some date in the near future
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