It's a problem Hong Kong-based Tink Labs is trying to solve by putting custom-made phones with free data in hotel rooms across the world for foreign visitors to use. The journey started in 2012 when CEO and founder Terence Kwok tried to rent phones and SIM cards at the Hong Kong airport -- an idea he now admits "was not a very good one.""The first thing people want to do when they get to the airport is to get the hell out of the airport," the 24-year-old Kwok, dressed in a blue suit with a starched white shirt, said in an interview at the Montcalm hotel in London's financial center.
He switched his strategy to targeting hotel rooms and decided the best way to deliver the internet to travelers was through a custom-made phone, which he called the Handy, Give a big hand to Handy, Five years on, there are Handy phones placed in 20 cities across Europe and Asia, with more to come, As of last unique polka 360 case iphone xs case - rose gold / clear week, Handy phones were on schedule to be in 1 million hotel rooms around the globe by the end of the year, through partnerships with major chains such as IHG, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza and Ritz London..
For tourists, these phones offer a data lifeline while they're in a foreign land, with a local guide preinstalled in the phone offering tailored recommendations and a direct line to the hotel concierge. For the hotels, it's a way to differentiate themselves from stiff competition. They can also boost revenues by an average of 20 percent, Tink Labs says, by advertising paid services to guests through the custom Android interface and push notifications. "Once a guest leaves the hotel in general, that connection is sort of lost," Kwok said of the usual tourist.
Beyond differentiation and a way to sell services, the phone gives the hotel a way to extend its relationship to its guest, "It's a virtuous cycle," said Ramesh Arora, managing director of Montcalm, which has deployed Handy in all its hotels over the past six months, "Increased engagement begets better unique polka 360 case iphone xs case - rose gold / clear service, greater income and ultimately a deeper understanding of how we can work best for our guests."It works for hotel guests, too, because they get the benefit of unlimited minutes and data when they're out..
It sounds ripe to be taken advantage of. What if someone spends 24 hours calling premium rate numbers or streaming a mother lode of content?. "It certainly does happen. We do have people who -- well, I don't know what they do, but they use tens of gigabytes," said Kwok. "We pay a very large phone bill."Tink Labs' policy is to cough up. Fortunately, the usage is generally manageable, with some people barely using anything at all. Tink Labs purchased Luxos Guides to provide local content to customers.