4G has changed our lives and 5G will change our society. 5G technology is bringing intelligent connectivity to everything and revolutionizing all industries. As numerous industries compete to embrace 5G, the hotel industry, as an important part of the cultural and tourist industry, has taken the lead.
Since April when Hotel InterContinental Shenzhen, China Telecom Shenzhen, and Huawei announced a plan to build the world's first 5G smart hotel, several five-star hotels in China have announced similar plans. They aim to explore new applications, experiences, and business value that 5G may bring to the hotel industry.
5G upgrades the hotel industry with intelligent connectivity
High-end hotels are important facilities that serve elite customers, and have long used ICT technology to become more digital and intelligent. 5G, however, is changing everything. It not only creates better connectivity for communications, but also enables intelligent connectivity using AI, cloud, big data, IoT, and more.
5G provides a strong boost to technologies including AI, cloud, big data, and IoT, and connects the information channel between devices and the cloud. As a result, we will be able to see intelligent devices, wide pipes, and cloud-based applications. This will create new business models for the hotel industry, and improve user experience while creating unlimited possibilities.
New use cases and experiences with 5G smart hotels
Currently, intelligent connectivity enabled by 5G is creating new cases in the hotel industry, transforming how guests experience their stay, as well as business activities and hotel operations.
5G robot for guiding guests
In a hotel lobby, the combination of 5G and AI will enable swift check-in and check-out in seconds through facial recognition, which improves service efficiency and security. Robots assigned to the front desk can provide information to guests, guide guests within the hotel, and offer delivery services. This will enhance guest interaction, service quality, and customer satisfaction.
Within a hotel room, 5G not only provides guests with faster, more secure Internet access, but also works with 4K/8K, VR/AR, cloud, AI, and other technologies to provide diverse applications including UHD video, cloud PC, cloud gaming, VR rowing, and personalized recommendations. In this way, 5G will meet guest needs for business and entertainment.
Watching VR live streaming and movies
For business activities, 5G perfectly solves the network congestion problem sometimes encountered with 4G and Wi-Fi, and ensures that meetings go smoothly. 5G supports increasingly popular services such as 4K UHD/VR live streaming and holographic interactions, and also allows meeting attendees to share social media content like text, images, and short videos in real time.
5G patrol robot
In terms of hotel operations and management, 5G is used along with big data and AI to support the collaboration between devices at the front end, such as patrol robots and AR headsets, and data at the back end. This combination will guarantee intelligent safety and security protection both indoors and outdoors, and bring the standards of safety and security services to a higher level.
5G live broadcasting of neighboring scenic spots
Hotels can also use 5G-enabled VR/AR to showcase information about neighboring scenic spots as a way to attract tourists. Some hotels are trying to work with product brands on 5G-based VR/AR shopping. This will help them explore new scenario-specific shopping experiences and opportunities to create more business value.
Five-star hotels embrace Huawei and operators
New technologies are driving new use cases and new experiences. To keep up with this trend, high-end hotels in China are starting to work with Huawei and operators for digital and intelligent upgrades, with the aim of taking the lead in 5G smart hotels.
InterContinental Shenzhen announcing a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei and China Telecom Shenzhen
On April 16, Hotel InterContinental Shenzhen announced a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei and China Telecom Shenzhen, whereby the three parties would work together to build the world's first 5G smart hotel. China Telecom Shenzhen used Huawei's 5G network equipment, and deployed the 5G Digital Indoor System (DIS) in the hotel lobby and the presidential suite to deliver new experiences including 5G robot reception, 5G cloud PCs, 5G cloud gaming, and 5G cloud VR rowing.
InterContinental Shijiazhuang signing a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei and China Unicom Hebei
On August 7, InterContinental Shijiazhuang announced a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei and China Unicom Hebei to build a 5G smart hotel. China Unicom Hebei used Huawei's 5G network equipment to provide 5G coverage within the hotel, and will deploy more 5G applications such as 5G reception robots, 5G 4K video streaming, 5G cloud PCs, 5G cloud gaming, and 5G conference centers.
On August 13, RiseSun Healthcare & Tourism signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei and China Mobile Hebei to develop 5G ecosystem applications. The three parties announced that 5G technology would be continuously applied in all hotels owned by RiseSun Healthcare & Tourism, and that they would build innovative, advanced 5G smart hotels together.
The examples listed above are all five-star hotels. As premium hotels in the tourist industry, they are working with one of the leading global 5G equipment vendors and local telecom operators to form a strong alliance and strive for industry leadership.
5G creates value for the hotel industry from multiple aspects
By analyzing the practices and plans of the first-mover five-star hotels, we find that 5G can create value for the hotel industry from the following four aspects:
First, 5G improves the service experience of hotels to attract more guests and increases their direct revenues.
Second, 5G enables new service scenarios for hotels, helping to differentiate themselves from the competition by providing value-added services and earn more profits.
Third, 5G simplifies hotel networks and uses intelligent methods to reduce operating costs and upgrade safety and security services of hotels.
Last but not least, 5G helps hotels play a bigger role in the cultural and tourist industry, and drive advances in the industry by supporting cross-sector cooperation efforts such as joint marketing and scenario-specific shopping.
"InterContinental Shijiazhuang is committed to continuously enhancing guest experiences, improving the quality of our services, and optimizing our facilities," said Zou Jianning, general manager of InterContinental Shijiazhuang. "We always take guest experiences as our top priority. As consumption continues to upgrade, consumers now have higher demands for service quality and experiences, and they expect something new."
"InterContinental Shijiazhuang provides premium suites with 5G coverage and offers 5G services like cloud VR rowing, cloud gaming, cloud PCs, and 4K movies. Guests living in these suites can enjoy the highest download speeds and the most diverse 5G applications. 5G CloudX reduces the costs of buying and maintaining computer hardware and improves the experience of our guests. This will ultimately help raise our brand equity and directly boost our sales."
5G creates value by combining new ICT technologies including AI, cloud, big data, and IoT, and breaking application and business boundaries. 5G can fully unleash the advantages of hotels in different scenarios to integrate the physical and digital worlds. This will bring hotels back to the core of the cultural and tourist industry, and make hotels a home away from home for their guests.