Hotel guests bring various mobile and portable devices that require Internet access. Keeping pace with the ever-increasing demands for more bandwidth to support personal devices is presenting challenges for hotels of all sizes. Hotel WiFi systems are strained during peak times since leisure, and business travelers are connected through the same network. Providing Internet access is no longer considered a perk in the hospitality sector. Superior hospitality WiFi networks can win significant business for the location. Failure to provide high-speed Internet access can reduce the number of rooms rented and affect the hotel’s reputation, especially with business travelers.
Universal mobile networks must provide certain features that are becoming well-known to savvy users:
• Available WiFi frequency spectrum
• Active management of the bandwidth
• RF Spectrum management
• Selective access point placement
• Dynamic orthogonal channel selection methodology that supports channel re-use
• Band steering from b/g to a/n
• Access point/client power management
• Policies for devices, management services and traffic types
Existing users of the hospitality WiFi should not experience performance degradation as the number of users increases throughout the evening. Immediate and secure access to the hotel WiFi ensures that leisure and business users will avoid the online risks that threaten their devices and data.
Device identity is essential for the per-use billing practices of hotel Wi-Fi systems. Guests, and their devices, must be known by the system to prevent inaccurate bills at checkout time. As devices drop off the network, fast reclamation of the available addresses will ensure that space is available for the next user. Wireless networks require experienced personnel who monitor the entire network and provide valuable support to hotel guests.
Exponential increases in the numbers and types of mobile devices present significant challenges for any hospitality WiFi administrator. Advances must be sustained to exceed guest expectations on every visit. Sustaining a positive reputation for high-speed Internet access is primary in the quest to compete in the Internet age. One negative experience will multiply 100-fold as the guest shares the story with friends and colleagues. Every effort must be made to avoid security, bandwidth and speed issues with the network.
Technological advances will require sustained efforts to upgrade the hotel WiFi equipment and cabling to provide superior connections for new devices. Internet access is considered essential for guests that have an insatiable desire to be connected to friends and family at all hours of the day and night. Hotels that ignore the trend will find that fewer guests are renting rooms, which is more costly than installing a superior WiFi network.