Life does not stop while on vacation, so why not provide guests with uninterrupted connectivity from the comfort of their hotel rooms?
FREMONT, CA: Gone are the days when we paused our jobs and regular routines while on a vacation. Millennials need every comfort that they are used to, even while traveling. And what could scream “normalcy” better than uninterrupted WiFi access?
Often, older hotels have WiFi networks that are unprepared for the major role it plays in our lives today. Gone are the days when WiFi was only used to send a few messages, or when slow connections and buffering videos were accepted. The demand for uninterrupted video calls and streaming necessitates better connectivity, which requires a complete revamp of the existing network. The hospitality industry of today also needs intelligent networks capable of handling the traffic overload without breaking into a sweat.
As hotels rush to upgrade their WiFi networks in keeping with the latest guest requirements, here are a few tips they need to keep in mind.
• Having a Clear Picture of the WiFi Demand
In order to improve internet connectivity for guests, it is vital to understand the usage and capacity that the WiFi will need to support at any given time. An understanding of the different types of devices accessing the hotel network, and the number of devices supported, forms a good starting point. In the design phase of the WiFi network, these points become crucial. In addition, it is necessary to plan for possible applications being used. Often, travelers do not want to miss out on their favorite television show even while on holiday—uninterrupted video streaming will require higher data bandwidth.
• Using Appropriate Modems and Routers
The combination of the right modem connecting to the provider network and routers, allowing multiple devices to connect to the internet network is vital for an efficient WiFi network. Business-class routers need to be chosen for their speed and scalability to ensure guest data is protected while they browse the internet freely.
• Finding the Right Access Points
A decade ago, it was acceptable to have WiFi access points in the hotel hallway. However, times have changed, and far-off access points do not cater to the guest’s need for uninterrupted data streaming. A plausible solution is to place access points directly in guest rooms—not only does it lower contention domains and co-channel interference, but it also allows users to browse from the comfort of their bed, couch, and everywhere!
• Routine Performance Checks
Even the most efficient of WiFi networks is bound to fail unless it is continuously monitored. In addition to a network management system, hotels should look into managed service options like monthly performance checks, immediate alerts, triggers and alarms, scheduled system checks, and client tracking are a few possible means of looking into the functioning of WiFi networks from time to time. As guests come and go, the number of devices connected to the internet is constantly changing, and the radio frequency environment might alter as well. With scheduled checks and performance analysis, the WiFi network can run optimally.
• Ensuring Security
With people continually entering and leaving the premises, the guests connected to a hotel’s WiFi network are ever-changing. While the stream of travelers cannot be controlled, it is vital to ensure data security for each browser using the hotel’s WiFi network. As the devices connected to the internet change, hotel WiFis should have a security infrastructure that can control or regulate end-user access. With Firewalls, the internet connection and data exchanged with the network are secured. Besides, it allows hotels to customize networks, offers remote access, and allows the prioritizing of connections to prevent reduced internet speeds. In addition, informative dashboards allow close usage analysis to avoid potential issues. Role-based access control and user profiling also help in securing the hotel WiFi against potential hackers.
Allowing people to stay connected to their regular lives, peers, and the workplace in general makes them feel 'at home' while on holiday or a business trip, and increases chances of a return visit. By partnering with the right network provider and investing in adequate modems, routers, and network security systems, hotels can accommodate the needs of the generation to become the preferred holiday destinations for their guests.