High-speed Internet access at Ararat Park Hyatt

Christopher Kenneth

Corporate executives stopping over or attending conferences at the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow will now find it faster to log onto their corporate networks or surf the Internet, thanks to the installation of a powerful broadband facility capable of granting high-speed Internet access, hotel executives said.

The facility was installed by Singapore-based Inter-Touch, the leading global provider of broadband Internet access for business travelers in more than 140 major hotels in 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region, South Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.

It will allow business travelers with Ethernet-ready laptop computers to enjoy high-speed Internet access without the need for a telephone line, modem, Internet service provider or reconfiguration of their laptops, they said.

Jiri Kobos, the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow's general manager, said at a press conference last Tuesday that the move is part of a Hyatt Group global initiative to equip all its chains with high-speed, Internet-access facilities.

"Telecommunications technologies require speed and efficiency, and the solutions provided by Inter-Touch, our partner, are some of the best on the market," he said.

Matt Mitchell, Inter-Touch's chief operating officer, said his company focuses on building long-term relationships with its partners.

"As their preferred broadband supplier, we concentrate on developing sophisticated high-speed Internet services tailored to meet the specific needs of hotels and their corporate clients," he said.

The Inter-Touch solution supports the majority of virtual private networks used by corporations around the world, which gives business travelers secure access to their own corporate networks from the comfort of their hotel rooms, he added.

With the new system, hotel guests can now access the Internet simply by plugging the Inter-Touch cables in their rooms into their laptop Ethernet card, turning on their computers and clicking on their Web browser, Julian Foxon, Inter-Touch account manager for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said at the presentation ceremony on June 17.

"The Hyatt will be the first hotel in Russia to offer these services in all its rooms and other publicly accessible places in the hotel, thus allowing corporate travelers high-speed access to the Internet and letting them work as if they were right in their offices in their home countries," he added.

Foxon said that a four-megabyte file that would require a minute to download using the traditional dial-up system would require only eight seconds through this facility.

Hyatt and Inter-Touch executives said the cost of installing the facilities was about $30,000. They noted that the sum depended on several factors, including the hotel's gross space, the number of rooms and the computers needed.

Kobos added that such services are now essential to business travelers.

"This is the reason the services will be offered free of charge to hotel guests - as parts of the hotel's plans to enhance the level and quality of services in order to stay ahead of competitors," he added. Laptops are included as part of the accomodation for guests occupying suites, while those in other rooms who do not have their own laptops can rent them in the hotel.

However, visitors, conference or banquet organizers or other people wishing to make use of these facilities will have to buy a two-hour card for $20. The card can be used in Hyatt hotels worldwide, until the allotted time is expired, Kobos said.

For those using conference rooms or holding videoconferences with their partners abroad, special devices are available to allow for up to seven multiple connections, each of which will enjoy the same high-speed access and quality of transmission, he added.

The 219 room luxury hotel opened on Oct. 17, 2002, and is located near Moscow landmarks such as the Bolshoi Theater, the Kremlin and Red Square. It offers 16 suites, including Winter Garden suites that offer panoramic views of the Kremlin and the Bolshoi.