5 Minutes at HITEC - with Ted Horner, International IT Consultant of 24 years
Wi-fi and the issues
For the majority of hotels, meeting guest expectations when it comes to internet, has not been achieved. So in my opinion, hotels need to educate their guests on the Wi-fi service they offer, perhaps advising them that the free internet is really only suitable for emails and that if they wish to download a movie or music perhaps they need to upgrade to the premium service. Only by educating guests can we set their expectations that the service we provide is most likely not as good as it is at home.
One hotel I stayed at in New Zealand offered free internet but then offered a $10 upgrade to the premium service where they stated it was 16 times faster. No it was not - but how do you prove it either way?
The wi-fi service should be one of the basic deliverable services today that guests expect and we, as an industry, should be able to deliver tiers of service as with rooms and F&B. Not everyone wants a Suite or the Fillet Mignon, even if they are prepared to pay for it
Going for the WOW factor in hotels IT will probably last about 10 minutes by the time someone else does it or the technology has moved on by the time the hotel business has deployed it.
Hotels must be able to track and model their unit wi-fi traffic and behaviour just like your marketing and F&B trends - and this should form the basis of the size and style of pipe that is delivered to a hotel for its guests - not the cheapest deal that has been sourced by Finance or Procurement alone.
The industry needs some standardisation or a major hotel company to take some leadership that sets some standards that others aspire to - that guests understand and are happy to live with - even if temporarily.