On a recent trip to Europe, TNT president Jeff Gaura had two startling revelations about just how far behind the US is in terms of telecommunications and technology compared to the rest of the world.
Upon arrival in Copenhagen, Denmark, facial recognition software helped expedite customs and border patrol. The act of ID verification as they flew in and out of European Union countries made the US systems of baggage checking, security checkpoints, and passport control seem incredibly old school. This system increased efficiency to the point that most of the international travelers arrived less than an hour before their flight, compared to the 2 hours ahead travelers need to arrive in America.
The President has signed an order to implement the technology in the US, and our migration to using facial recognition is underway.
Check in at European hotels was equally as efficient as their airport check in. The check in experience was “humanity free,” in that Jeff and his son only had to interact with a touch screen to get room keys, Wi-Fi passcodes, and room number assignments. From when they entered the hotel to signing in and getting to secured elevators that required IDs to operate took literally about two minutes. That included the hotel verifying credit card on file and getting an additional swipe for room incidentals.
Differences in the quality of telecommunications stood out the most. 5G coverage was ubiquitous in Norway, whereas only 5 US cities claim to have 5G wireless broadband. Even in those cities, it is still in a testing stage and not available to the entire population. 3G and 4G are the US Standards, still. In addition, Wi-Fi is more common and faster in Europe than here. At one extreme, Jeff and his son had 54 Mbps at the Top of Galdopiggen, the highest mountain in Scandanavia, and it was free.
With all the brainpower, money and people that exist in the US, it is a crime that we are behind smaller, less economically endowed countries like Norway and Denmark.