By Thibaud Châtel
Last year the SNG team partnered with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology of Trondheim, a well-known European “Think Tank” for students. SNG provided support to a Master’s Degree student in Telematics, Steffen André Stople, in the form of an e-Solutions Benchmarking project. We studied the hospitality sector (hotels, bed & breakfast, camping facilities, etc.) of the Hardanger Fjord area, which include the second and third most populated cities of Norway – both extremely tourism dependent.
With an excellent response rate among the accommodation business of the area, comparisons were able to be drawn between Norway and the American tourism & hospitality sector by using SNG’s previously collected data.
As with much of Europe, Norway is ahead of the US in terms of broadband availability. And given connectivity, utilization should follow the same pattern (even though e-solutions drive utilization as much as availability, see below, next story).
- 3 in 4 (75%) of Norwegian businesses are currently using web-enabled mobile phones to provide worker mobility, in contrast to 2 in 5 Americans.
- 100% of Norwegians businesses are using laptop computers versus 80% of Americans – making mobile e-solutions more adaptable for Norwegians.
- Wireless connection is used by twice the users in Norway than the US (29% versus 14%).
- Nearly 3 in 5 (58%) of Norwegian businesses are using Internet multimedia content or interactive tools while only 3 in 10 (31%) in the US. What’s worse is 35% of US businesses say video virtual tour, dynamic slide shows, live webcams and others are not applicable to their business.
- More than a third (35%) of Americans’ think that tele-working isn’t applicable in this sector as opposed to 0% of Norwegian businesses agreeing with this point of view.
While these results were well received in Norway, illustrating Scandinavians’ advance in the web-enabled 21st century – it is discouraging for those who believe in broadband’s powers and call the United States “home.” A significant portion of American organizations are not even considering the benefits of broadband and web-enabled solutions!