Whether for work or leisure, travelers can find comfortable and convenient accommodations at various price points almost anywhere. But travelers now expect basic amenities – like cable television, coffee makers, and comfortable beds – to be included in their booking. One ever-important amenity that almost all guests now require from a hotel is fast and consistent internet connectivity. And, ultimately, guest satisfaction is the bottom line.
To heighten guest satisfaction and comfort, implementing in-room WiFi connectivity is a top priority, especially because internet connection is one of the most important amenities to guests. Younger guests and business travelers may specifically search for internet connection when booking their stays. Although business travel is currently low, there have recently been heightened weekday bookings in the United States, signifying that business travel is slowly but surely making a comeback.
A guestroom can be an extension of a business office, and there are tools available for travelers to measure WiFi speeds in their guestroom. Hoteliers that do not consider WiFi to be a top priority or want to boost their WiFi offerings can find solutions to increase connectivity and, in turn, guest comfort.
Solutions for Maximizing Hotel Internet Experience
WiFi standards update, and, therefore, a proprietor should keep a hotel’s WiFi networks and gateways up-to-speed to ensure an uncomplicated internet experience for guests. Updating usually includes strategically positioning WiFi access points for maximum speed and coverage. If a hotel’s WiFi router or routers cannot support all bandwidth requests with consistent and reliable speeds, guest dissatisfaction should be anticipated.
For example, if a hotel’s internet service provider (ISP) gives 150 megabits per second (Mbps), the bandwidth is shared by all guests using the internet. During peak demand, potentially every guest in the hotel could be online simultaneously. If 50 guests are on that network, each user only receives 3 Mbps. Hotels should strive for at least 5 Mbps (preferably more) to accommodate today’s heavy data applications, like video streaming and conferencing. A hotel’s internet pipeline needs to accommodate all users, especially during busy hours.
But not all guests use WiFi the same way. Some limit their internet usage to checking email once per day. Others constantly use hotel WiFi to download large files or binge-watch videos for hours at a time. Since some use data more liberally, a WiFi router with bandwidth management can limit the amount of data a device receives or transmits. In addition, a hotel should take steps to safeguard hotel and employee data from any hackers by commissioning two WiFi networks – one for guests and one for hotel staff.
WiFi Benefits for Hotels
As more business decisions become data-driven, hotels can leverage invaluable business analytics from guests’ devices like smartphones and laptops. This information gives insights into guests’ behavior and activity. Data can guide management decisions for staffing, schedules for guest services, and provide information to enhance guest satisfaction. Low guest satisfaction can have a direct correlation to slow and outdated internet connectivity.