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Mar 1,2023

Telephone in Hotels: A Brief Overview

Sadly, landlines are becoming extinct. In 2004, almost all-American adults had access to a landline at home, but now that percentage has dropped to about 40%. Businesses as a whole should follow suit. However, hotels typically resist change and continue to use landlines despite their antiquated nature. Although transitions might be unsettling, hotels must constantly adapt to be competitive, like any other service industry. In light of this, we decided to investigate the evolution of hotel phone systems in the past and future.

Primitive Hotel Telephone systems

It's hard to imagine for today's youth, but there was once a period when only the wealthy had access to telephones. Only the most expensive hotels of the late 1800s and early 1900s had telephones for their guests, and even then, it was usually only a single wall phone in the lobby. Employees may have had access to a desk phone that connected them to an outside operator for all calls.

The telephone industry underwent a radical transformation in the 1930s. This was the first time the mouthpiece and earpiece of a telephone were integrated into a single device, and the rotary dial allowed for quick, direct dialing of another number. While mobile phones were still seen as a luxury at the time, this marked a significant shift in the hospitality business. The need for in-room phone extensions increased as visitors took advantage of the newfound convenience of making direct phone calls to other guests, the front desk, and external lines. As the use of telephones for personal and professional purposes skyrocketed over the subsequent decades, hotels could take advantage of this trend by taking bookings by phone.

Future and Existing Hotel Telephone Systems

Due to bandwidth limitations, most conventional phone companies predicted that voice would never go over the Internet when it first became popular in the mid-1990s. They were correct at the time, but the concept was never completely abandoned, and in 1995 the first "internet phone" was introduced. Although the technology was rudimentary initially, it advanced swiftly, and by 2003, Skype had brought VoIP to the general public. Companies immediately discovered the cost savings and improvements to audio quality, phone functionality, and user experience that VoIP telephony could provide. There was no doubt that hotels would reap the most benefits from VoIP due to the enhanced features it would provide to both employees and customers.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) hotel phone systems, like Voice ware by Phone suite, provide consumers with many options. Nowadays, hotel workers may look up visitors or coworkers by name and transfer calls with a simple mouse click. The caller's name, room number, native language, VIP status, and other information are instantly available to front desk staff when they receive a guest's call. A missed call may also be avoided with the use of automation software. In addition, visitors may make use of the message services and personalize their morning calls with the forecast, snooze options, and more when using VoIP systems. Guest calls that go unanswered or to a busy signal will no longer be charged. There are triumphs for all those involved.

This New Era of Cloud-Based Computing

Telephone applications have recently joined the ranks of the many other types of software that have benefited from the rise of cloud and SaaS providers. As the sophistication of technology and the expectations of consumers have increased, hotel phones have evolved to include much more than simply the ability to make and receive phone calls.

Cloud-based management services have benefited the hospitality industry because of the increased complexity and management demands posed by more advanced technologies. Hotel owners and managers can now take advantage of the full suite of features offered by modern phone systems for a much more reasonable and consistent monthly operating expenditure than was previously possible due to the elimination of the need to build a server, purchase their hardware, and hire IT staff or outside contractors to run it. More and more hotel owners will likely use cloud-based systems in the near future to increase their properties' attractiveness, customer satisfaction, and employee productivity.

Another paradigm shift occurred in the 1960s with the introduction of touch-tone telephones. Touch-tone phones sped up dialing and made automated menus for phone calls possible. Caller ID, simultaneous calls, call waiting, and call transfers are just some of the perks available to hotels because of this advancement. Yet, the vast majority of hotels continued to use antiquated PBX technology. Throughout the following several decades, neither sound quality nor connection changed much.

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