Travelers in this digital era expect information and personalization whenever and wherever they travel. As time is a scarce resource, staying connected 24*7 has become a common feature of travel. Wireless internet technologies along with mobile devices have contributed a lot to transform the entire travel experience. According to iSuppli Corp., an US-based market research firm, in September 2010 the worldwide subscription for wireless services reached 5 billion, which equals 73.4 percent of total global population. Additionally, International Data Corporation (IDC) states that the smartphone market witnessed a 79.7% growth in the first quarter of 2011.
This proliferation in the adoption of wireless technology and mobile devices has created two converging trends that made the travel process less “situation specific” and more “anytime, anywhere”. Mobile devices, smart phones and tablet PCs are blurring the line between phones and computers. Wireless internet technology improves the traveler’s experience from researching about a destination to choosing a flight, hotel and ground transportation. Now people don’t need to visit a travel agent’s office physically or sit beside a desktop PC for destination search or booking of flights and hotels. Mobile wireless services have enabled them to do all these on the go at their own convenience.
While the technological advancement facilitates a pleasant experience for the travelers, it also creates ample opportunities for the travel service providers to easily target the niche markets. According to PhoCusWright report, 35% of the mobile users prefer to book their flight tickets using their mobile devices. Thus, most airline operators have their mobile applications that help consumers book their flights along with other ancillary services easily. The mobile broadband on demand service fulfills its promise of always-on devices and always-connected travelers, which in turn provides utility, convenience and facilitates superior customer experience.
Wireless internet technology also has its impact on destination services. Organizations dealing in travel, tourism and hospitality business are offering destination based contents that help travelers to navigate the location. Reports show that 60% of the travelers share their location to get better information and better deals at their fingertips. Further, it becomes clear from the market surveys that sales and promotions are the two most important information types that mobile users often look for while in a holiday.
According to the market experts, the demand for mobile wireless services with multi-device connectivity features would double up in the next three years. With sustainable growth in global trade and commerce, the international business interaction is also increasing. For the corporate travelers, a reliable internet service works as lifeblood that keeps their business growing. Most business travelers prefer pay-as-you-go mobile broadband plans; these are no contract internet plans that help users save a lot on connectivity cost, while relieving them from the hassle of hunting internet services when in an unknown place.
Wireless data services have increased public access to the internet, empowering the travel product suppliers to sell their products/services directly to the potential consumers. In the recent past 4G internet services has been introduced, which took the surfing experience to the next level. By using advanced technology, the telecommunication providers made it easy for the travelers to access their online content from anywhere at any time they want.