Local hotel offers guests complimentary smartphones with free services

ISLAMABAD: Until now, the hospitality industry provided fixed phones and paid local and international calling facility, but guests of one hotel in Pakistan will now have complimentary smartphones that they can take anywhere during the length of their stay.

The guests of Serena Hotel will now be getting a special smartphone, ‘S Tel’, for free local and international calls. Bearing 4G and hotspot options, this solution comes from Telenor Pakistan, as a first of its kind digital platform, and holds significance for the hospitality industry in the country. This is also a technological collaboration between Serena Hotels and Telenor Pakistan.

S Tel was unveiled at an event held at Serena Hotel in Islamabad where the management of both organizations was present alongside their teams.

Speaking on the occasion, Telenor Pakistan CEO and Head of Emerging Asia Cluster Telenor Group Irfan Wahab Khan said, “Telenor Pakistan’s ‘S TEL’ is an innovative breakthrough not only in Pakistan’s but in the region’s hospitality industry. We take pride in being industry leaders in introducing technological innovations and after our digital interventions on agriculture and social inclusion fronts, we are now aiming to transform businesses by providing them state of the art solutions that makes their processes more efficient. I am pleased to partner with Serena Hotel for this solution and hopeful that this partnership will go a long way in setting new trends that are necessary to boost the tourism and hospitality industry in Pakistan.”

Serena Hotels South & Central Asia CEO Aziz Boolani said, “We are ecstatic to have partnered with Telenor Pakistan for making this digital platform a reality. Being the country’s hospitality leaders, we want to deliver our guests a wholesome digital and connectivity experience that is hard to match. With ‘S Tel’, we have come closer to achieving our goal as it offers the guests a robust connectivity solution that makes their stay comfortable, safe, and memorable. This feature-rich application not only makes roaming charges and connectivity issues a thing of the past for our guests but also works to lift tourism in the country with features such as the city guide.”

As the guests check in to their room, the smartphone already has its basic details on ‘S Tel’ that can be accessed and used instantly. The smartphone is removable and the guest may take it with them to anywhere in the city. This means that the guests may place an order for their favourite meal or request for laundry pickup remotely, even before reaching back to the hotel. S TEL also works as a virtual local city guide which includes tourist attractions and sightseeing spots.

Both organizations have ensured that this platform keeps user privacy a priority. To keep the user data secure, the device operates in Kiosk mode only allowing guests to stay connected to their friends, family and hotel management. Upon check-out, it ensures privacy and protection of guest information by wiping all usage and communications data.

Telenor Pakistan Chief Business Officer Haroon Bhatti told this scribe that S-Tel project is the result of collaboration between Telenor Pakistan and Serena Hotel. “The initial need identification was present at Serena’s end, but the final product was a mutual effort involving a lot of discussion, deliberations and value add from both partners for a very unique and innovative solution.” About the business model of S Tel, he informed, “The solution is being provided on a rental model to Serena by Telenor Pakistan.



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Syeda Masooma
Syeda Masooma
Writer is business reporter at Pakistan Today
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