Hotel Technology: Managed Wi-Fi

Is Managed Wi-Fi Right for Your Hotel?

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Hotel Wi-Fi remains one of the most important amenities for guests, the 2021 Hospitality Technology’s Customer Engagement Technology Study found that free Wi-Fi was at the top of the list among guest preferences.  80% of consumers felt that free Wi-Fi was the most important amenity.  Guests also have technological preferences that they want to be a part of their hotel stay, 47% preferred to check-in using their mobile devices and 40% wanted the ability to unlock guest rooms with mobile devices.  A powerful Wi-Fi network is essential in implementing mobile technology and other smart technology for hotels.  Guests are also traveling with multiple devices with the expectation of connecting them to the hotel’s network.  How can hotels make the best Wi-Fi decisions that are not only cost effective but that also allow them to offer guests the instant connectivity that they want?

What is Managed Wi-Fi?

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Managed Wi-Fi might be the solution that hotels need for affordable and reliable Wi-Fi that meets the expectations of guests.  Managed Wi-Fi is a wireless network solution that enables hotels and other businesses to outsource most, or all of the functions required to provide a strong Wi-Fi network.  Managing a Wi-Fi network that enables a quality guest experience requires considerable attention and resources to implement and to maintain.  Managed Wi-Fi is cloud based and the third-party vendor is responsible for the maintenance, the troubleshooting and the security of the network.  Managed Wi-Fi utilizes numerous access points, giving hotels the ability to handle multiple devices that are connected to the network simultaneously without causing any disruptions in service.

Hotels also have the option of implementing and maintaining their own network.  With an unmanaged Wi-Fi network, the hotel is responsible for the cost of maintaining the network, the network security and for upgrading of the network.  Unmanaged Wi-Fi is managed entirely by the hotel’s staff and gives hotels complete control of their network, but it comes with its disadvantages.  Unmanaged Wi-Fi utilizes a single or a few access points, limiting the number of devices that can be connected at once.  The signal can also weaken as you move away from the access point causing interruptions to your Wi-Fi connection.

How Can Hotels Benefit from a Managed Wi-Fi Solution?

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Cost Effective
Managed Wi-Fi puts the responsibility for the performance and maintenance of your network in the hands of an experienced provider.  A managed Wi-Fi solution will take care of the equipment, network configuration and maintenance, allowing hotels to better manage costs while providing seamless access and a strong network.  A knowledgeable managed Wi-Fi provider will offer the best pricing for long-term licenses and support and other cost-effective options that the hotel’s IT team may not be aware of.

A Secure Network
Managed Wi-Fi providers specialize in the latest technology to ensure the security of your network.  Your hotel’s Wi-Fi network is managed by a team of professionals who are responsible for implementing the appropriate security controls, for authenticating users and for monitoring the network.  The hotel’s Wi-Fi network is better able to defend against threats and is usually more secure with a managed Wi-Fi solution.

70% of consumers want to stay at hotels with positive reviews and providing guests with reliable Wi-Fi can have an impact on guest satisfaction, leading guests to leave more favorable reviews.  With a managed Wi-Fi solution, hotel operations can continue during an outage or a disaster.  Your hotel’s Wi-Fi is managed offsite with a cloud backup with 24/7 monitoring and troubleshooting that can spot issues before they lead to a service disruption, allowing hotels to offer continuous service without interruption.

Technology is constantly shifting, and managed Wi-Fi helps hotels to adapt to the changing technology.  Maintenance and new equipment costs are a part of the managed Wi-Fi agreement, allowing hotels to easily add new access points whenever the need arises.

Reporting and Monitoring
Hotels can access detailed reports on-demand and gain insight into their network utilization, allowing for the collection of usage and performance data.  Hotels can analyze outages and bandwidth usage in order to make more informed decisions.

Wi-Fi Quality Impacts Booking Decisions

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Having the ability to offer guests fast and reliable hotel Wi-Fi service can make or break the guest experience, as guests are basing their booking decisions on a hotel’s Wi-Fi reputation.  Hotel Internet Services conducted a Hospitality Wi-Fi study and discovered that 85% of guests reported that the quality of the hotel’s Wi-Fi affected their decision to book a specific hotel.  The survey also found that 76% of guests traveled with multiple devices with the expectation of connecting them to the hotel’s Wi-Fi network.  71% of guests felt that the biggest issues affecting hotel Wi-Fi was poor signal strength, 68% felt that speed was a major issue and 61% felt that connectivity was a significant problem.  Managed Wi-Fi is fully managed offsite by experts who are responsible for the performance and maintenance of the hotel network, allowing hotels to offer guests the speed, reliability and instant connectivity that they desire.

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