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Starwood Hotels and T-Mobile to enable Wireless Internet Access in 99 of Starwood's European Hotels

9th July 03

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and T-Mobile International, a division of Deutsche Telekom (NYSE:DT) announced today a partnership agreement with the aim of enabling wireless 802.11b, or Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) technology Internet access in 99 of Starwood’s European hotels. The Park Lane Hotel, London will be the first to launch the service in the next few weeks with rollout to the remaining hotels to follow soon after. 

Starwood and T-Mobile are also working together to drive awareness of WiFi access points (T-Mobile "HotSpots") in participating Starwood hotels where customers with wireless enabled personal computers can connect to the Internet and to their corporate networks, wirelessly. In addition, Starwood’s WiFi solution will also enable the use of other wireless devices such as tablets. HotSpots will be installed in participating hotels' lobbies, public areas and in addition in business centers and business guestrooms of most of the hotels"

“Frequent business travelers tend to be early adopters of new technology, especially technology that makes life on the road easier and more productive,” said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Europe, Africa & Middle East. “By being the first hotel chain to offer WiFi connectivity across the European Union, Starwood’s hotels will benefit as awareness and usage of WiFi builds and users search out hotspots when traveling. We continue to search for new technologies, and to develop technological amenities that enhance the experience for business travelers”. 

“The deal with Starwood is an important event in T-Mobile’s drive to ensure industry leadership in providing seamless access to multimedia over all relevant technologies. In the future our customers can look forward to access to T-Mobile multimedia across the globe thanks to our global products and services offering and our broad roaming footprint, said Nikesh Arora, Chief Marketing Officer, T-Mobile International. “T-Mobile plans to have 5000 wireless “HotSpots” globally by end-2003, and we will continue to sign agreements with key partners to drive WLAN awareness and service uptake.”

Public wireless hot spots worldwide are expected to increase from 15,000 to more than 300,000 by 2006 (TeleAnalytics 2002), while frequent public WLAN users worldwide are expected to increase to 31 million by 2007 (Gartner 08 ’02). According to the microprocessor industry, more than 50% of mobile PCs sold worldwide by 2003 will include integrated wireless capabilities — with millions more offering wireless cards. 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 105,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high-quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information please visit us at www.starwood.com/pressclub

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