The Internet is now a vital part of people’s day-to-day life. Especially within the hospitality trade, a good internet / Wi-Fi connection is essential for happy customers and positive reviews. With sites like www.hotelwifitest.com and www.tripadvisor.co.uk being a vital part of a customer’s decision-making process and WIFI is becoming more and more prevalent on these sites.
A key part of the decision process now when considering hotels is the quality and availability of Wi-Fi. We all know that going on holiday somewhere that the kids can’t access Netflix or social media or a business trip where you can’t access emails or VPN to the office can spell disaster for them… and bad reviews for the Hotel.
From aap3’s perspective, there are a few best practice guidelines when considering a reliable wireless solution.
There isn’t a lot of consideration to security within the hospitality industry, probably because there has not been a huge liability suit filed against hoteliers (yet). The security many properties deploy on their wireless network is completely inadequate. Just offering a password helps keep the guest next door off the Wi-Fi, but doesn’t secure the guests online in your hotel. Make sure the equipment deployed offers client isolation, peer to peer blocking, and firewall protection throughout the network, enabling your guests to utilise the wireless safely and securely.
Small Office Home Office equipment does not have the robust manufacturing needed in high-density environments. These devices are not designed for the environment. The technology installed at a Hotel needs to have the capability of running a high-density network without bottlenecking and causing system failure. Using industry leading technology from suppliers such as Cisco that are specifically designed for the volume of traffic in high-density networks with a continued flow of users will provide your customers with an enterprise wireless solution which is reliable, safe and secure.
The majority of companies will choose to outsource their wireless projects to external companies due to their experience and expertise in the area. A few things to consider when choosing a company;
• Make sure that they have experience in a wide range of Wi-Fi solutions
• Make sure they have certified engineers to carry out any surveys and work on site
• Make sure they have the capability to support your Hotel location(s)
• Make sure they can support your network remotely to manage the installation and maintain a high quality of service from your Wi-Fi.
A new guest wireless installation for your hotel must meet the current brand requirements, but it never hurts to get it in writing. I wouldn’t settle for just that, make sure they are aware of and can cost effectively meet proposed wireless upgrades in the pipeline as well! Proper SSID naming, tiered bandwidth, and PMS interfaces are just a few that inspectors are asking about lately.
Ensure the solution provides both a standard connection and a premium connection. This will provide you with additional revenue streams. You may also want to consider landing/splash pages enabling you to customise the solution.
“Hotel Wi-Fi” covers over half a BILLION results on Google. Make sure your hotel is properly paired with a company that meets your budget, guest demands, brand requirements and hotel locations. Charges for service calls, device replacement, and programming? If it’s all included are they replacing faulty devices with the same equipment or the latest model and technology? A low monthly cost is great for the first year IF everything works fine. Just be aware that when devices need a service, a visit or two by a technician etc. will quickly even out the costs from a vendor where service is inclusive.
Blasting a wireless signal is easy… Offering a secure, stable, wireless connection to every guest and their suitcase of devices is an ever evolving challenge that requires a partner that is up to the task. Choose wisely!
It is mandatory that you give free or complimentary Wi-Fi internet connection in all public or common areas. This includes the lobby, reception, check in/check out desk, breakfast area, business center and amenities area (swimming pool, gym, restaurant, etc.). This is where most action in your hotel happens and you have to ensure that your guests can connect to a stable and fast wireless internet connection.
This is applicable to bigger hotels that cater to business functions and conferences. During these high-level business meetings, executives High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) to carry out whatever business discussion they’re having – strategic planning, financial review, marketing and sales planning, etc. Remember that time is of the essence to these busy professionals and they don’t want any technical difficulty hindering them from accomplishing things in a timely manner.
If you constantly deliver great internet access to business executives, there’s a great chance that you’ll land a long-term corporate client, which is a great source of steady revenue.
You can’t expect all your hotel guests to crowd in your hotel’s public areas just to surf the internet, right? They would want to surf within the comfort of their own room. Providing internet access in your guest rooms is no longer just a must-have – for hotel guests, it’s a given expectation. Both wireless and wired internet access can be provided. If you’re providing wired internet access, the LAN cord or port/s must be highly visible.
Because dozens or even hundreds of people will access your hotel’s internet access all at the same time, the quality of your hotel’s internet equipment should be commercial grade. This includes your Wireless Access Points, Routers and Gateway just to name a few.
You also have a bandwidth management system in place. What does this mean? This means that your guests will get the equal amount of bandwidth. For example, a guest who’s downloading a big file won’t eat up all the bandwidth and slow down the internet connection for the other guests. You can also put a data cap per guests. For example, if your guests have reached 2GB in data for a 3D/2N stay, they’re bandwidth allocation will be cut in half or they can no longer access the internet at all.
Other technical recommendations are:
– 1 mbps minimum download bandwidth
– 500 kbps minimum upload bandwidth
– Wireless access points must support IEEE 802.11n wireless connectivity
– Minimum signal strength: -65 Dbm across the entire hotel
– Maximum signal to noise ratio: Less than 30 across your hotel
– Plug and play connection – no need for your guests to install any software or hardware