Wi-Fi – Need or Must? (Luxury or Necessity in Hospitality?)

75% of people say that a week without WI-FI would leave them grumpier than a week without coffee. We are seeing more and more mobile devices needing WI-FI, to the point that it is becoming essential to attract the customer. So is Wi-Fi in hospitality needed?

When was the last time you booked a hotel without Wi-Fi? Hotel Chatter found that 94% of people cite internet access as their most important amenity, yet they found that only 64% of hotels offer it free to their customers. The hospitality industry should take note, as 38% of hotel customers say that they would book elsewhere if there was no Wi-Fi available.

Wi-Fi in the Hospitality Industry

Things to bear in mind when offering Wi-Fi include:

  1. Is it reliable?

    • People are more likely to be put off by bad Wi-Fi, rather than no WI-FI
    • You must factor in capacity as more and more people are carrying more than one or two devices (e.g. Work Phone, Personal Phone, Tablets etc.)
  1. Is it Fast?

    • Can it support multiple devices uploading photo/video as well as voice and video calls simultaneously?
    • Do you have the infrastructure and bandwidth on-site to handle the extra load once you offer Wi-Fi?
  1. Impact on staff/operations

    • When offering this speed for your clients you must also look at:
      • The costs of the bandwidth
      • Allocations of speed and bandwidth to staff, client and business devices
      • Ensure that you are not hindering your own core operational devices and services
    • Permitting and monitoring staff access to Wi-Fi during breaks/out of hours.
  1. Legal

Is your guest Wi-Fi in line with government legislations for your city or country?

  1. Security

Wi-Fi is an easy target.

  • Are you securing your business devices?
  • How are you protecting your clients?
  • Is your current solution taking up valuable IT resources?

So how do you meet these requirements, while keeping your technologically inclined and demanding customers happy?

You will need a Wi-Fi solution that covers the following:

  1. High Quality Business Grade Hardware

    1. Giving software reliability
    2. High Speed
    3. Durable Hardware
    4. Great Security
    5. Regular updates for both security and legislation
  1. Cloud-Based Management

    1. Allowing control of multiple sites
    2. Giving easy “big picture” monitoring and alerting
  1. Fast and Simple Deployment

  1. Easy Multiple SSID Control

    1. Allowing bandwidth control
    2. Allowing Separation of Data

In planning, designing and implementing a Wi-Fi solution for clients that need to tick all of these boxes, I found a solution that handles this and much more. This allows a smooth, non-invasive deployment, leaving a Wi-Fi resolution that is robust, easy to grow and light on IT Management resources.

We had a very positive experience with Meraki (Cisco Meraki) products to deliver best-in-class Wi-Fi solutions.

Written by James Ratcliffe  – Project Manager at Towerwatch Solutions LTD