To say Wi-Fi has carved out its place as a vital auxiliary service for hotels, resorts and short stay accommodation would be an understatement. As everyday life becomes increasingly connected, Wi-Fi has moved from a value-add extra in the accommodation industry to a necessary utility for guests and hotel management.
Whether it’s for social media, business activity, video streaming, or simply connecting everyday items to a network – a fast Wi-Fi service is crucial. But what does the future look like for hotel internet and how can hotel management ensure they future-proof the network? Here are five features that define the future of hotel connectivity.
#1 – Wi-Fi as a core amenity
The first step to future-proofing accommodation is to recognise Wi-Fi as a core amenity for guests. Hospitality Technology’s 2017 Customer Engagement Technology Study found that 89% of consumers say they make booking decisions based on hotels offering free, reliable Wi-Fi, and 45% of hotel companies who consider themselves as ‘innovators’ are planning to upgrade or add guest Wi-Fi to cater for this demand.
So what do guests want? It’s simple! Guests want fast, free Wi-Fi connectivity, with an average of three devices per person. There’s nothing more frustrating than connecting to the internet that is accessible at a premium price (1 out of 3 hotels still charge for higher bandwidth levels, as seen below), only to find that the network speeds are agonisingly slow and limit the number of connections.
(Hotels Lodging Study, 2017)
#2 – High-speed fibre backbone
Having a high-speed fibre connection ensures a hotel or resort can receive the capacity needed to service the demand of all guests and management. With the growth of smart devices, streaming services and social media, the capacity required for guests has increased exponentially. In fact, according to Hotel Management Magazine 2018, guests on average bring in 3 mobile devices when they check-in.
So how much capacity is needed? Well, each accommodation building may vary. That is why VostroNet deploys a 10,000 Mbps fibre connection, allowing high-speed internet throughout rooms, common areas and public spaces.
#3 – Internet Gateway & Property Management Software
Having high-quality internet software is essential in ensuring that management has full control over the network. While streaming Netflix on holiday may be tempting for some, it can result in a substantial quantity of downloads. Having full traffic management is crucial to ensuring our Netflix users don’t exceed the bounds of data limits; allowing management to identify if someone is abusing the hotel network.
Security is another crucial feature for hotel managers, restricting sites that threaten the devices of users; such as those that contain viruses, malware and rouge website filtering. A 2015 report from Cylance found a critical vulnerability in the ANTlabs InnGate product used by hotels, which affected 277 hotels across 29 countries. Attackers were able to monitor and record data sent over the hotel network, a significant problem considering payment details are often recorded over said networks.
To uphold guest security, a network must be able to implement a firewall, a role-based access control, profiling and a IDS/IPS. At the end of the day, the network is embedded in the hotel for the benefit of the guest. Ensuring that guests are safe when using the network is paramount.
VostroNet offers its leading H2 Internet Gateway Software for hotels, resorts and short-stay accommodation as a value-add to the fibre backbone after installing the fibre network. Hotel managers are able to have limits on user downloads and can be assured that security is implemented on their network.
(VostroNet’s H2 Hotel Management Software, and Internet Gateway)
#4 – Network Support
For a hotel manager facing an interference in a building’s connection, immediate support and remedy are crucial. VostroNet offers 24/7/365 network monitoring, keeping the hotel manager in the loop and ensuring guests remain online throughout their entire stay. Support is available via chat, email and phone, and our advanced software analytics alerting us to any issue in real-time.
#5 – Integrated Wi-Fi
High-speed internet should not be limited to an individual guest apartment and should be accessible to both public and common areas throughout the resort/hotel. One of the most prominent mistakes hotels make is not providing a significant amount of WAP’s distributed around common areas of their property. Logging into Wi-Fi by the pool, at the gym, or in event rooms will go a long way to ensuring guests receive a positive experience.
VostroNet views this integrated Wi-Fi experience as a value-add when deploying its high-speed fibre throughout a site, ensuring that Aruba Wi-Fi routers are implemented in common areas to connect guests during their stay.
Undeniably, the future of hotel connectivity resides with a high-speed fibre backbone, with an adequate number of wireless access points (WAPS) to distribute the network accordingly. Guests should receive included internet in their stay, with high data download speeds and no device limits. In conjunction with the fibre backbone, hotels require an easy-to-use hotel management and internet gateway platform to monitor and control guest registrations, as well as an internet gateway to enable users to get online.
VostroNet’s H2 Hotel Network
VostroNet now offers high-speed guest and public Wi-Fi for hotels and resorts. Their dedicated dark optic fibre provides speeds of up to 10 Gbps (10,000 Mbps). VostroNet’s H2 Network Software comes with traffic management, with rate limiting and usage control, all managed via a dedicated portal with advanced reporting. The H2 Network is included with fibre installation and is perceived as a value-add for building management.