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Tokyo hotel gets Wi-Fi/VoIP future phones

When the Peninsula Hotel opens in Tokyo this weekend it will be the proud owner of one of the world's most sophisticated convergence telephone systems, courtesy of NEC Japan.

The company's Univerge SV7000 network relies on a combination of Wi-Fi, VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and 3G telephony to offer hotel guests a single phone that works like a landline inside the building but becomes a normal mobile phone when out on the town.

Nice little earner

It's no surprise that all 450 of the handsets being used are NEC's own FOMA N902iL models, usually available through NTT DoCoMo. But the degree of joined-up thinking behind the Peninsula project is a pleasant surprise.

Not only is the N902iL effectively a universal handset, but it comes with several extra services, as might be expected at a hotel whose rates range from ¥60,000 (£260) to ¥850,000 (£3,670) a night.

A touch of a button allows guests to communicate not only with the concierge or room service, but also with staff even when outside the hotel. Presumably, the billing system, also provided by NEC, reflects such time-expensive dedication to the job. No high-end hotel would be complete without high-end phone bills, after all.