It’s 2018 and, if we’re being honest, there’s little excuse for a hotel not to implement a guest WiFi solution. Whether you’re a large hotel chain or a local B&B, the customer’s expectations have shifted such that not offering free guest WiFi is seen as a serious negative.
Hotel technology isn’t simple though, and as ubiquitous as WiFi may now be, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement.
In fact, in a world of hacks and security concerns, it’s easier to get hotel WiFi wrong than it is to get it right.
Every day we see poorly implemented guest WiFi solutions affecting almost every aspect of businesses in the hospitality sector, from staffing to complaints. Here are the top five mistakes hotels make with guest WiFi:
1. Open Router Access and No Guest Access Procedures
Oftentimes, the rush to get your hotel outfitted with a WiFi solution means that vital security elements aren’t put in place.
In particular, open router access is a common mistake. It allows users to directly connect to the router, like you might at home, sometimes without the use of a password. Doing so ensures quick and easy connections, but leaves your connection entirely unprotected. A knowledgeable hacker can snoop on traffic on that network, posing a serious security risk.
Guest access protocols are also essential to ensure separation between the work network and the guest network.
2. High Access Fees
Whilst it’s true that the hospitality sector used to consider WiFi something of a luxury, one that was worth paying handsomely for, that’s rarely the case today. Despite this, many hotels are still charging significant rates for their WiFi.
It’s a quick route to generating discontent among your customers, and it misses the point of modern guest WiFi solutions. An AirAngel WiFi solution can be deployed to customers for free and generate income in other ways, like encouraging repeat bookings, promoting extra paid services or harvesting customer satisfaction surveys. It’s a way for both you and your customers to win.
3. Poor In-Room Signal
The success of a WiFi network, ultimately, comes down to how strong the signal is for all of your customers. Being able to access quick wireless internet in the lobby is cold comfort for the businessperson attempting (and failing) to make a conference call in their suite.
Carelessly set up wireless networks fail to take into account the effect that soundproofing materials, furniture and electrical signals can have on the connection. It’s why having a professional installation is so crucial.
4. Limited Bandwidth
Understanding your customer’s requirements is essential to their continued satisfaction, and yet we often find hotels which are ignoring the usage habits of their customers.
By failing to upgrade the available bandwidth for your customers you fundamentally compromise the user experience for your customers. It’s often said that bad WiFi is better than no WiFi, and we’re firm believers, it’s why we help our customers quickly and increase bandwidth to meet demand.
5. No 5GHz Support
In the modern WiFi sphere, there are two channels in broad usage: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Although devices which support 5GHz WiFi have only recently (over the last five years) come to the market, support for the 5GHz spectrum is now vital in hotels.
Why? Well, 2.4GHz shares spectrum with a huge variety of devices, from microwave ovens to Bluetooth speakers and video cameras. It’s overcrowded and oversaturated and in hotels, it can border on unusable for many people, with serious degradation to signal strength and quality.
As such, allowing customers with the right tech to hop aboard the ‘cleaner’ 5GHz spectrum is highly recommended.