InterContinental Prepares to Launch “The World’s First 5G Smart Hotel”

Buckle your seatbelts. 5G, which is the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, is coming to hotels. Or, for now, at least to one hotel in China: The InterContinental Shenzhen.

While the United States and other countries have imposed certain restrictions that may delay 5G adoption, other countries, including China, aren’t wasting any time in embracing the 5G network. The InterContinental Shenzhen, which also has the distinction of being the first 5-star Spanish themed hotel in China, is the first hotel to deploy 5G. The hotel announcing this week that it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Shenzhen Telecom and Huawei to create what is being called “the world’s first 5G smart hotel.”

5G enables data transfer and download speeds that are multitudes faster than current connections. Average speeds of around 1GBps are expected to be the norm. Providing the infrastructure needed to carry enormous amounts of data, 5G networks will help power the proliferation of Internet of Things technology, allowing for the rise of vastly smarter and more connected devices. This obviously hold a lot of promise for hotels that rely heavily on data-driven technology capabilities to optimize operations and guest services. The 5G network also makes cloud services more stable, reliable and powerful.

By introducing end-to-end 5G network with integrated terminals and cloud applications, the project will help to open the door for a digital transformation of the hotel experience through 5G technology, according to a spokesperson. The hotel expects to be able deliver guest services that are more customized and improve the overall guest experience.

Shenzhen Telecom is deploying Huawei’s 5G network equipment in the InterContinental Shenzhen to achieve continuous indoor and outdoor 5G coverage. Guests will be able to experience 5G hotel applications through 5G smartphones and customer-premises equipment (CPE) terminals, including 5G welcome robots, 5G cloud computing terminals, 5G cloud games and 5G cloud virtual reality (VR) rowing machines.

For the project’s kick-off ceremony, Shenzhen Telecom and Huawei jointly deployed a 5G Digital Indoor System on the hotel’s first floor and in the presidential suites.

In the hotel lobby, guests can access the 5G network through CPEs or their smartphones to experience high speed 5G downloads and uploads, while 5G robots provide services including guest information, destination guidance, and goods delivery.

The presidential suite covered by the new network provide guests with 5G hotel services such as cloud VR rowing machines, cloud games and 4K movies. According to reports, the download speed on the indoor 5G network can reach 500 megabits per second (Mbps). This offers a far superior user experience for VR gamers.

Huawei and Chinese carriers could be more creative and go beyond 5G welcome robots, cloud computing terminals, cloud games and VR rowing machines to make the hotel even smarter and expand the experience into other areas. Transformative services might include integrating a hotel loyalty program to identify a guest upon arrival. These include issuing electronic room keys to a smart phone and self wayfinding and proximity messaging with rich video content to promote hotel amenities and facilities.