Singapore, 19 April 2000 - Net2Room.com Pte Ltd, a pioneer provider of broadband Internet access to the hospitality industry, today unveils a strategic partnership with two more leading players in the hotel and serviced apartment business, Raffles Holdings Ltd and Orchard Holdings Ltd.
Under the strategic alliance, Raffles Holdings Ltd and Orchard Parade Holdings Ltd will invest in Net2Room.com, taking up stakes in the company of 9.89 per cent and 21.98 per cent respectively. Net2Room.com will wire up 9000 rooms belonging to Raffles Holdings and Orchard Parade Holdings with Net2Room's broadband Internet access technology. This would include the hotels and serviced apartments owned and managed by Raffles Holdings Ltd and Orchard Parade Holdings Ltd.
With this announcement, Net2Room will be made available to more than 12,000 rooms/serviced apartments in Singapore. Somerset Holdings is the first serviced apartment player to provide Net2Room to their serviced apartments. Somerset Holdings is also a stakeholder in Net2Room.com.
"We are pleased that three of the leading players in the local and regional hospitality industry have formed a partnership with us. It is a strong sign that the hospitality industry is recognising the unique needs of business travelers, that of providing high-speed hassle-free Internet access direct to their rooms," said Mr Michael Mun, chairman and chief executive officer of Net2Room.com.
"The market is developing very fast and highly competitive. But I believe that with our total solutions approach in providing technology, R&D and a comprehensive support structure, as well as being vendor-neutral, we have an extra edge over competing solutions. We expect to have 15,000 to 18,000 rooms Net2Room-ready by the end of 2000. That is equivalent to 30 per cent of the whole hospitality market in Singapore," said chief operating officer, Mr Kelvin Ng. "Hotels and services apartments are the places we need to be, because they are where our business travelers need to be."
Net2Room.com provides the full spectrum of broadband Internet access services, ranging from the initial installation of PCs, to service and maintenance, as well as 24x7 Helpdesk support. Installation takes advantage of the existing phone lines in the guestrooms and requires no additional wiring or renovations to be performed. As a result, participating establishments will suffer no disruption of guest services or income when they sign up for the service.
The Net2Room solution utilises the latest thin-client and notebook PC technology, developed locally at Aztech. The motherboard, central processing unit, network and sound cards and speakers are housed in a compact chassis, and integrated together with the active-matrix LCD screen. A central server, connected through standard RJ45 telephone ports and the existing PABX system, provides hard disk memory.
The unique design makes the Net2Room PC 70 per cent smaller than the standard PC unit, saving valuable space and providing more aesthetic value, a major concern among hoteliers. The active-matrix LCD screen has a low power consumption, yet provides a sharp and bright display with no harmful radiation. The architecture maximises system uptime, at the same minimising the drain on IT resources associated with desktop PC support.
The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology allows guests to surf the Internet and receive telephone calls simultaneously, thus ensuring that important calls are not missed. For business travellers with Ethernet-ready notebook computers, they can enjoy the convenience of high-speed Internet access without the need to change any settings or reconfiguration of their notebook computers.