In today’s Internet driven world, horror tales of travelers are generally not related to missed flights or inedible cuisine, it is usually checked-in hotels with poor or zero connectivity or Internet speeds that do not go beyond 5 to 7mbps. That is speed that is not at all standard to say the least. To majority of travelers a good Wi-Fi is as important as hot water and electricity. A guest might check in after a long flight and want to write to family or upload some photos to social media or even make a video call. If as an hotelier you cannot meet this basic need you can be sure that this is the last you will ever see of this guest.
What then are the problems with providing strong and fast Wi-Fi connectivity in your hotel? Is it too much to ask? Not really. If you make the right moves, providing a connection that guests will love is actually not very difficult. But before going into the solutions, it will be relevant to know first the problems with hotel Internet connectivity.
- Outdated systems – Installing Wi-Fi systems throughout the hotel is an expensive affair and hence these are refreshed or updated every 5 to 10 years. Further, there is a need to maintain compatibility with older models of devices too and hence hotels are often reluctant to switch to modern Wi-Fi networks.
- Over saturation – There are usually more users accessing a hotel Wi-Fi network than was originally planned for when the network was installed. The individual access points have many users sharing connections and this leads to congestion. Further, connections are often restrained per device and are not compatible with the amount that a user is provisioned for. This is when hotels ask for more for a “premium internet” connection.
- Device separation – Hotels enforce device separation and hence the smart phone of a guest for example will not connect to the laptop or any other device on the same network. Again, many people are sharing the same network, and if a laptop or any device is not properly firewalled there is always a risk of infiltration.
Now, as an hotelier, how do you get around these problems?
- Install high quality modems and routers – While modems double up as routers at home, in hotels you will need a router to spread the signal along with a strong and sturdy modem. Ensure that the routers are secure, fast and scalable, that is more devices can be connected if you want to.
- Find the ideal spot – Do not tuck away the router under the front desk or in a corner. To get the strongest signals, place them at a centralized location and preferably hang them from the ceiling. Apart from concrete and brick walls, everyday physical objects absorb signals too. Even electronic items like security cameras and kitchenware can cause signal problems. Avoid such places for your routers.
- Have a separate network for guests – Have separate networks for guests and your operations. Apart from easing pressure on one network, it will make your system safe too. Confidential client and business information, POS systems and accounts information will be kept secure within your network without the fear of infiltration by unscrupulous elements within your guests.
Follow these steps and you should have a quality Wi-Fi network that will keep your guests happy.