How Hoteliers Can Create an IoT Network Strategy that Meets Both Business Needs and Guest Expectations

Since their initial introduction, IoT technologies have taken the hospitality industry by storm and have created much excitement over the limitless possibilities they offer. Even prior to the pandemic, as much as 70 percent of hospitality executives indicated the presence of at least one active IoT project at their properties. With much of the industry now recovered and welcoming guests back in large numbers, IoT adoption rates are only set to increase further as hoteliers strive to differentiate within an ever more competitive market.

Yet while many may be familiar with IoT benefits that can include heightened experience personalization, faster service response times and lower operating costs, fewer have a grasp on what it takes to ensure a successful solution rollout. For the unwary hotelier, IoT technology can represent several potential pitfalls if not adequately planned out that can lead to higher expense, frustrated guests and more work for already overstretched employees.

To sidestep any unwanted and likely costly surprises, today’s hotel businesses should always have a well thought out strategy they can rely on to obtain the results they set out to achieve. Applicable to hotels and resorts of any type and size, here are three key steps able to ensure an IoT platform deployment that always lives up to both hotel and guest expectations alike:

Step 1: Define the Desired Outcome and What Success Means

Regardless of industry, businesses can often jump towards IoT as something that must be adopted simply because it’s the ‘next big thing’ in increasing profits and standing out from the competition. However, moving forward with IoT using this kind of mindset more often than not leads to missed opportunities to maximize the improvement of operations. At its worst, it can also result in operations potentially grinding to a halt if insufficient research has been done to identify the possible implications of a solution’s adoption on existing systems and services.

Before even beginning to review their IoT technology options, hoteliers should first ensure that they have a clear picture of precisely what it is that they are looking to achieve. Is it a reduction in time it takes to complete service requests? Perhaps a mobile-enabled task management system might make for the best investment. Is a hotelier mostly concerned with reducing out of control utility costs? An IoT integration that can detect real-time room occupancy to automatically adjust in-room amenity settings could do much to lower monthly energy bills. If the idea is to ‘wow’ guests with a truly exceptional stay experience, technologies that can leverage mass data to make personalized service recommendations are now widely available.

What Hotel Guests Really Want From Their In-Room WiFi

Your hotel’s lobby is what makes the first impression, and the friendly faces behind the front desk welcome each visitor who comes in. You probably have some cozy places to sit and relax for weary travelers, light music filling the room, and let’s not forget the gorgeous amenities like the pool deck! All of that to say – there are many elements that go into making hotel guests feel at home.

However, there is so much more that goes into making a guest feel welcome in a hotel than just the lobby. Namely, a free and easily accessible wireless network. Making this a part of your business has become the gold standard in the hospitality industry. After all, you want to offer your customers what they desire, and what they want is a simple, strong, and secure hotel WiFi network. Here are a few things your hotel guests really want from their in-room WiFi network design:

Data Security

Many people are wary of connecting to hotel WiFi, especially in light of recent data breaches at major hotel chains and other public spaces around the world. With that in mind, you must ensure that guests feel secure using the current WiFi networks at your hotel. IT personnel must safeguard both guest and corporate WiFi networks against any threats.

Hotel chains need to safeguard client data such as guest devices on their networks, payment details in transit, and third-party vendor information. Hotel businesses must adhere to strict data security standards to continue operating securely, successfully, and lawfully. This is beneficial to your hotel’s image and will enhance the guest experience since they know that their data will be secure when connected to your hotel’s WiFi. While data security is a top priority for many, here at Hotel Internet Services, we use the Fusion Gateway to ensure the best security. It combines a Web Server, Firewall, Aggregator/Bonding Appliance, DHCP Server and Authentication Gateway all in one for fast and secure WiFi. You can trust that it is secure because the Deep

Speed

Guests are always on the go, and they need their internet connection to be just as quick. You’ll find that a fast WiFi signal will allow your guests to enjoy online browsing without interruption so they can connect with home or work quickly and easily!

We live in a world where people are dependent on their devices, and it seems like a new smartphone or tablet is released every day. Maintaining an up-to-date network system has never been more important with all these new advances in technology constantly coming out. These devices require strong wireless signals to operate optimally. Your hotel guests will expect to be able to use the internet without being slowed down on the device of their choice.

You must modify your hotel WiFi systems to keep them running properly as new technologies emerge. Every three to four years, we recommend that you evaluate your wireless network and identify areas for improvement to provide complete coverage.

Professional Equipment

Without suitable equipment, you won’t be able to provide your visitors with the experience they’re looking for. In the hospitality and MDU industries, professional, enterprise-grade equipment is essential for providing guests with reliable and secure WiFi. There are several parts that make up a WiFi system including a gateway, wireless controller, switches and access points.

Here are a few tips on how you may improve your hotel WiFi solutions for higher guest satisfaction scores:

Put the Access Points Somewhere Sensible for Better Internet Access

WiFi radio waves are transmitted from access points in different patterns, based on the access point design. Some access points are designed to be ceiling-mounted, with a wave pattern that shoots down and across, while other are designed to be wall-mounted, providing the best coverage directly in front of it. So, if you want proper coverage without dead spots, you must choose the access point position carefully.

Professional system integrators have the knowledge and experience to properly place the access points for the best internet quality. They will also be able to advise you on the best type of access point for your environment, depending on the layout and size of the premises. They will conduct a thorough survey of your property to ensure that the access points are correctly positioned, taking into account obstructions and interference.

Keep Your Equipment Updated

The software that controls your wireless access points, like any other computer program, must be updated from time to time. Why is that? Security and performance are the two most common reasons, but there are a variety of others. Every update resolves bugs and other issues, and many of them improve the functionality of your equipment. Your customers will appreciate you for keeping this equipment up-to-date.

It’s worth noting that, with a gateway like the Fusion, there will be numerous security, stability, and performance benefits across the board when you upgrade the software. This is in addition to the benefits that come with any major software release like improvements to the web interface, better logging, and so on. The gateway and controller software will be updated on a regular basis by Hotel Internet Services to ensure that your visitors have a safe and dependable WiFi connection.

Don’t Cheap Out on the Connection

Numerous consumers with high demands on the network necessitate additional capacity. A hotel’s conference room, for example, may accommodate more than 200 concurrent users on the WiFi network.

Higher-end, enterprise-grade access points are built to withstand this sort of demand; therefore, they are considerably more expensive than ones acquired at a local electronics shop. Additionally, the abilities they have to seamless roam between APs, dynamically adapt signal strength, and shape the waveform to each device helps optimize load balancing, minimize interference and maximize performance.

This is why it’s vital not to replace higher-end access points with cheaper ones since this will have an impact on the overall performance of your WiFi network.

Maintain a Strong Wireless Signal Throughout the Hotel

WiFi wireless networks, as compared to cellular or other technologies, are particularly susceptible to signal fading. WiFi clients obtain the greatest data rates when they are in an area of strong signal strength from the access point with little interference. Most service providers suggest aiming for a minimum signal strength of -65 dBm and an SNR of 25-30 dBs in the quest for strong signals.
What is dBs in relation to SNR? The signal-to-noise ratio, commonly known as SNR, is the strength of the wanted signal compared to background noise (or undesired signal). The fixed formula to determine SNR compares the two levels and returns the ratio, which indicates whether noise affects the desired signal.

To ensure that your guests’ devices stay connected at every point in the hotel, it is important to choose high-end access points.

Why do Hotels Need WiFi?

As we know, there are many different types of travelers, and their needs can be as unique as their demographic. Business travelers require fast, reliable Internet to complete their tasks and stay in touch with the office. Families on vacation may need WiFi to keep up with their social media accounts, check email, and stream movies and TV shows. And solo travelers often use hotel WiFi to stay connected with friends and family back home. By providing high-quality WiFi, hotels can appeal to a wider range of guests and keep them coming back! Here are a few more advantages of having a dependable and consistent WiFi connection in your hotel:

To Strengthen Customer Loyalty

One of your goals as a hotelier is to give your guests an outstanding, consistent, and hassle-free experience to encourage them to return. To stand out from the crowd, you must provide exceptional services throughout the guest’s stay, including the best hospitality WiFi service. Providing fast, constant, and readily accessible hotel guest WiFi is one way to strengthen that loyalty to consider.

Hotel WiFi is an important element in the hotel selection process and future reservations. To improve your hotel guest experience, you need to provide them with a seamless experience. They should be able to connect and stream without interruption from the moment they walk in until their final step of departure. No internet connection or streaming problems with your WiFi network, whatsoever!

You also have a higher chance of attracting happy and loyal guests who would consider repeating reservations and recommending your hotel to their coworkers, friends, and family if you provide a good and consistent WiFi experience. And offering free WiFi generally increases guest satisfaction scores while keeping guest complaints at bay.

Uninterrupted Communication

With a secure WiFi connection for hotels, guests today have more opportunities than ever to stay in touch with their loved ones and keep up on the latest happenings back home. Whether they want a quick internet call or just an update from social media, free WiFi ensures that all of these communications through their smart devices are possible without leaving their room! Again, they will be more likely to stay longer, spend more money, and recommend the hotel to friends and family.

Seamless Hotel Operations

Hotel WiFi has a significant impact on your hotel’s operations as well. Hotels around the world are dependent on smooth operations to provide exceptional guest satisfaction. Slow networks can have a damaging influence on the performance and efficiency of your hotel’s operations, as well as the satisfaction of your visitors.
The following systems may be affected by your hotel’s WiFi access points, each of which requires uninterrupted internet connection and sufficient bandwidth: web-based platforms, concierge service, IPTV, credit card machines, tablets, housekeeping devices, remote check-in, and so on. For these systems to operate properly, you’ll need access to the internet and a connection at optimal speed.

Installing WiFi Business Solutions

The moment you decide to build a new network for your hotel, the next step is to choose a HSIA services provider to install it for you.
Note that every hotel is unique, therefore, you need a service provider that can adapt the network design and installation procedure to meet your specific requirements. It’s critical to work with someone who understands your needs.

To begin, you’ll want an HSIA service provider that can create a layout that will meet your present and future requirements. You may potentially require remote services management and HSIA consulting services for your network, so you want a firm with expertise in both areas. In general, here are the two qualities a service provider must have:

Experience

Hospitality networking must provide very specific features, and it is also undergoing changes on a regular basis to fulfill new use cases and technology, examples being the ever-expanding IoT universe, converged networking and employee safety devices. Therefore, it is vital for an HSIA service provider to have experience both in enterprise networking and in the hospitality industry.

Efficiency

Having a team that can maintain your new network after it’s in place will assist you to avoid future issues. The last thing you want is a guest having a terrible experience at your hotel. This is why you’ll want a reliable HSIA service provider with a knowledgeable staff that can solve your internet or guest login problems as soon as possible.

We Provide Complete WiFi Business Solutions for Hotels

A powerful and reliable wireless network ensures the best experience for guests at your hotel. When you install a hospitality WiFi network, your guests can enjoy more than just the internet, they also have access to TV channels, streaming services, and other on-demand entertainment conveniently through their devices. A hotel WiFi network may be a gamechanger for your hospitality company if you want to attract more people and add new services and amenities to enhance your guest’s experience.

This is why it’s so important to choose a reputable wireless internet service provider for your hotel, so you receive the best outcomes and delight your hotel guests. The best choice for hotel internet services is in the name: Trust Hotel Internet Services with your next hospitality HSIA installation project. Contact us today for a free quote to get started!

How to elevate the in-room entertainment experience by Hotel Management by Lodging Magazine

Long gone are the days when internet was a “nice to have” amenity. Today’s guests often travel with multiple connected devices that require greater bandwidth for activities like streaming video and virtual meetings. What’s more, hotel teams and properties are increasingly reliant on the same infrastructure that supports guest WiFi networks. Three hospitality technology experts shared with LODGING their recommendations for investing in a property’s connectivity infrastructure to meet modern guest and operational demands.

Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services, says the trend towards guest service digitalization and the growing prevalence of smart technology in hotels has led to property internet networks being even more essential to operations and guest satisfaction rates. “Today’s hotel networks are required to be faster, more robust, and able to provide consistent reliability across a property to prevent lapses in service quality. A network that fails to live up to these increasing needs not only risks bringing various property systems requiring an online connection to a grinding halt but will inevitably fall below modern guest expectations, resulting in a drop in business reputation and revenue,” Patrick explains.

How to elevate the in-room entertainment experience by Hotel Management

Today’s hoteliers need to address the fact that guests now overwhelmingly expect in-room entertainment experiences to offer personalized content that is instantly accessible and importantly, doesn’t require any sort of staff assistance. Before adopting any solution, properties must determine if a platform is able to provide a user-friendly experience that sidesteps potential system unfamiliarity issues that could lead to guest frustration.

Using advanced casting platforms designed exclusively for hotel environments, properties can boost guest confidence by preventing content from being inadvertently or maliciously streamed to other rooms. (Hotel Internet Services)

“This includes providing an easy-to-navigate user interface and with regards to casting platforms, a simplified device-pairing process that doesn’t end with guests giving up and deciding to view their content on personal tablets or laptops,” said Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services. “With each guest having their own unique content-viewing preferences and streaming account subscriptions, hoteliers also need to consider a solution’s level of compatibility with any streaming service a guest may wish to access on guestroom televisions. This is especially true for international travelers who may wish to view streaming services based in their home region.”

Hospitality Technology – How Hoteliers Can Maximize Profits via a New Revenue Stream by Investing in their Internet Infrastructure

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Workers don’t want to return to the office, but they’re tired of working from home. Hotels are becoming a preferred work location alternative.

Gary Patrick, CEO of Hotel Internet Services

Since the rise of remote working brought on by the pandemic, surveys continue to show that as much as 59 percent of employees do not want to return to the physical workplace. Yet as workers also find unique challenges or experience fatigue resulting from working at home, a new trend has risen where employees are seeking out hotels as a preferred work location alternative. Representing a valuable opportunity for hoteliers to tap into a new revenue stream, a growing number of properties now offer remote work packages that among several features such as access to desks and stationary equipment, also importantly includes the ability to connect to a hotel’s Wi-Fi.

With both the internet and email undoubtedly serving as the most essential tools for a majority of today’s workers, a hotel’s ability to provide a fast and reliable online connection has never been as important. Yet Wi-Fi service quality continues to represent a considerable challenge that many hoteliers across the industry struggle to overcome. More than 80 percent of guests in fact state that poor Wi-Fi signal quality is often an issue they encounter when staying at a hotel.   

While the industry has faced numerous obstacles in delivering high-quality online experiences, they are by no means insurmountable. By following proven best practices and strategies, hoteliers can cost-effectively ensure that their property’s network capabilities are able to consistently live up to both traditional guest and remote worker expectations.

HITEC TV: Guest Room Technology – Wi-Fi and So Much More

HITEC TV

Guest room technology used to include the phone, the remote and the television. If you were lucky, you would get a cool bedside alarm clock that would work with your iPod. Today, guest room technology has come a long way. Hotel guests are using more bandwidth during their stay and now streaming services are top of mind. Watch 3 guest room tech leaders discuss streaming tech, casting solutions as well as how Wi-Fi will become even more important. The panelists for this session are: Tammy Estes, Chief Product Officer from Nomadix, Inc., Trevor Dowswell, Chief Technology Officer of Hotel Internet Services and David Heckaman, Vice President of Product Strategy at Cloud5 Communications.

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