Hotels rely on guest satisfaction. Travelers expect uninterrupted connectivity, and to make guests happy and increase the chances of them rebooking, a hotel must adapt to these growing wireless needs. Though crucial to the guest, it is also imperative to have a seamless wireless connection for employees to communicate back-of-house operations. When all staff can communicate, operations run smoothly, and, in turn, guests remain happy.
With the continuing advancements in the Internet of Things (IOT), as well as the large amount of people tapping into a network, it is not uncommon for a hotel’s typical WiFi solution to be strained to a breaking point, leaving guests frustrated with their experience.
Case in point: guests stand next to a window at a conference, just to have enough signal to make a call or send an email. Many people have experienced this during their stay. When conference rooms and ballrooms are located in the basement or higher levels of a hotel, cellular signals are often blocked by adjacent structures or by the materials used in construction—further underlining the need for a reliable in-building wireless solution.
Hotels often believe that to address the lack of signal within a conference room or other areas within the facility, they’ll deploy WiFi networks for wireless connectivity. This may seem like an obvious fix, but WiFi becomes strained with today’s connectivity demands. In the mobile-first world of today, the number of connections being made per guest has risen. Cell phones, laptops, and IoT display technology within a conference setting stretch WiFi networks thin.
This is where enterprise-grade connectivity solutions come in, like a distributed antenna system (DAS). A DAS brings network signals into the building via a central hub, distributing reliable, seamless connectivity throughout the building, and enabling a hotel to take advantage of frequencies commonly reserved for cellular communications. Unlike WiFi, DAS equipment can provide access to a guaranteed level of connectivity that outperforms WiFi in coverage, bandwidth, and latency.
In the case of the first example, guests wouldn’t have to worry about straining the cellular network supported by the DAS because a cellular solution is designed from the ground up to support business-critical applications, while also being able to scale as the scope of deployment grows. With the right platform, an enterprise-grade solution will be able to cover wider areas with more capacity.
Conference rooms and sub-level floors are not the only areas of a hotel that tend to lack connectivity. Elevators are commonly recognized as a dropped call and lost connection zone. Whether a guest checks in for business or recreation, being able to maintain communication on a trip down to the lobby may prevent an upset client or a missed shuttle. Lack of connectivity within a hotel can also interfere with safety and overall building operations.
First-responders such as police officers, EMS, and firefighters rely on mobile devices during mission-critical operations. If a hotel doesn’t have the right solution to allow for seamless and constant connectivity, safety operations may be hindered, putting everyone in danger. Deploying a wireless infrastructure that provides interoperability between public safety and cellular networks is essential in providing a single, end-to-end solution, which will ultimately lower the total cost of ownership.
Back of house staff frequently communicate using two-way radios. Security and front-door staff may need to get in touch with the bellhop to bring a luggage cart. The concierge may need to communicate with the valet to have a guest’s car ready when they check out. Lack of connectivity will lead to inefficiency, considering staff will not be able to properly communicate.
Happy guests and smooth operations are critical for a hotel’s success, and reliable communication is a necessity. Ensuring that a proper wireless solution is in place will only lead to higher satisfaction among guests and employees alike.
About the Author
Scott Willis, president and CEO of Zinwave, has spent more than 30 years in the telecommunications industry. Before joining Zinwave, he was executive vice president, chief sales and marketing executive at Goodman Networks.Willis has also held senior executive roles at Ericsson, Nokia, BellSouth, Sprint, and several smaller global corporations in the communications field.