Industry Update
Press Release 5 February 2015

UK businesses waste £370 million on Wi-Fi and roaming charges annually

Hotels and airports revealed as worst offenders, with some charging up to £17

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Amba Hotels

Business travellers paying to stay connected whilst they travel are costing British companies more than £370 million each year, according to new global research from Amba Hotels, hotels for the discerning business traveller. The average UK business traveller spends £16.30 on Wi-Fi and roaming charges on each trip – a third more than the average spend in the US where free Wi-Fi is more widely available.


Hotels and airports are the worst offenders, with some charging up to £17 for 24 hours. Having to pay for Wi-Fi services also impacts the efficiency of the working day with up to 70% of business travellers regularly unable to work efficiently due to slow or unreliable Wi-Fi connections. For example two fifths (38%) have been unable to join a work call or videoconferencing meeting, almost a fifth (17%) have missed a work deadline, and half (53%) have felt the impact on their personal lives after being unable to contact friends and family.

Financial commentator and founder of LetsSaveMoney Sarah Willingham said; "Fast, free, reliable Wi-Fi is non-negotiable for modern business travellers. With airlines and rail companies investing in Wi-Fi on board and international roaming charges falling dramatically, it's inexcusable to keep charging extortionate rates for patchy Wi-Fi connections. I'm pleased to see Amba Hotels is championing fast, free Wi-Fi and hope their competitors follow their lead."

Mike DeNoma, CEO of glh, the parent company of Amba Hotels said; "Wi-Fi is consistently one of the key criteria that influences our guests' choice of hotel – in fact for some people, it's more important than a good night's sleep! Our Wi-Fi has no caveats, no loyalty schemes no limit on uploading or downloading. It's the fastest, free, unlimited Wi-Fi of any Meeting & Events hotel."

The research highlights the overall cost of Wi-Fi to businesses globally and in key business travel markets:

  • France – €232 million annually (average spend €22.10 per trip)
  • UK – £371 million annually (average spend £16.30 per trip)
  • Germany – €3.6 billion annually (average spend €21.10 per trip)
  • US – $7.3 billion annually (average spend $15.10 per trip)

To help businesses and consumers avoid expensive Wi-Fi charges, Amba Hotels has teamed up with to track the best and worst Wi-Fi hotspots.

Research was carried out by Gabriel Research & Management Ltd in the UK, USA, France, and Germany, from the 19-25 January 2015 with 750 respondents per country

 Amba Hotel Charing Cross has the fastest free, unlimited Wi-Fi in the world in any Meetings & Events hotel, as measured on between 13th of October 2014 and 01st of December 2014 (listed as The Charing Cross Hotel) with an expected speed of 184 Mbps (max speed of 510 Mbps) and on between 9th of October 2014 and 01st of December 2014 with an average download speed of 134.3 Mbps and average upload speed of 90.7 Mbps, measured within at least 3 or more independent tests.

Research sources:

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Amba Hotels aims to be a global operator of contemporary 4 star hotels owned by glh, the London-based global hotel subsidiary of the Singapore-listed GuocoLeisure Group. The Amba Hotel Experience has been designed in response to customer feedback, delivering seamless technology and authentic experiences in a premium location: Amba Hotel Marble Arch will be the next to open, driving expansion into London, and followed by plans to expand into Asia, the USA and Europe in the future; Smart TVs are installed in every room to make it easy to sync devices or stream from subscription accounts and USB sockets are provided in every room at the bedside; Nespresso® coffee machines in every room, so guests can enjoy top quality coffee whenever they want – for free; The latest technology, from check-in kiosks to smart in-room apps and iPads in every room that guests can use to surf the net, order room service, learn more about the hotel or simply discover more about London; A hotel brand with unique designs, driven by the individual location of each hotel, including artwork to reflect the city’s iconic attractions; Our people are all local experts, available to help and guide guests so they get more from their stay; On-site business and leisure facilities that meet the needs of executives using the hotel as a personal business base or business event location, or when travelling on leisure.
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