Networking

Is the Free Hotel Wi-Fi Just for Promotion?

Just as travelers never asked whether the hotel rooms have television or air conditioner, most of them do not bother to query about the internet access. Wi-Fi is fast becoming a basic amenity and the travelers worldwide increasingly expect that their hotel room will be equipped with broadband. When there is free internet in the coffee shops, airport and restaurants- the guests' expectations for in-room connectivity is natural. Hotels.com interviewed more than 8600poeple across 28 countries and two thirds of them picked free Wi-Fi as standard that all hotels should offer. Just 11per cent travelers wish to pay for the Wi-Fi during their stay in a hotel.

In this age, internet connectivity is a fundamental essential. People now search every kind of information online. In this context, more and more hotels are realizing that they can no longer charge for an unlimited internet access or continue with half the house arrangements. Many renowned hotel chains either offer free Wi-Fi in their public areas or for a limited time. This is annoying. However, there are many hotels, round the globe, that offer uninterrupted broadband connections and the guests can access internet from any corner of them.

This is something very gratifying and most of the travelers enticed with the offer pick up such hotels offering free Wi-Fi. But, are they satisfied? Most of them experience painfully slow Wi-Fi connections. The bandwidth speed is very crucial to any kinds of travelers. The business travelers need Wi-Fi to connect with the clients, conduct meetings on the go or remain in touch with the office. The recreational guests, on the other hand, desire fast Wi-Fi to stay in touch with family and friends, search information about the place and for entertainment purposes. When a hotel advertises free Wi-Fi, the travelers anticipate reliable and fast connections. 81 per cent guests said that they have experienced poor Wi-Fi in different hotels.

What are the reasons behind slow internet connections?

Most of the hotels have not thought before implementing the Wi-Fi, many people may try to use the resource at the same time. The amount of broadband resources falls short of the demand. Most of the hotel networks were built to serve a device per room. One the more the device that they thought of is laptop. The laptops have multiple big antennas that are capable of searching and connecting to even the weakest Wi-Fi signals.

Today, most of the hotel rooms have more than one device and smartphones and tablets are often among them. These devices have relatively feeble antenna.

How can hotel upgrade their Wi-Fi services?

Hotels have to update their services keeping in mind the connectivity demand of the modern generations. However, most hoteliers are not motivated to provide better Wi-Fi quality. High quality Wi-Fi is costly to install and maintain. As they will modify the network, guests will pile up more devices and the same problem will persist.

What can you do?

Be vocal

Whenever you stay in a hotel promising free Wi-Fi, perform WiFi test to see the bandwidth speed. If a hotel room has a bandwidth somewhere between 2 and 5mbps per room, it usually allows the guests to stream music, Skyping, download videos and upload photos. This speed varies from hotel to hotel. You can post the result directly to social media or include it in the hotel reviews on the booking sites if the speed is remarkably lower. The hotels face a real challenge when the reviews on their poor bandwidth speed are all over in the internet. If all the hotel guests suffering from the same problem post the same review, the hotel has to take action.

Bring your own hotspot

Most of the smartphones and tablets can create a hotspot which other devices can access. In order to create the hotspots, the devices use cellular data network and not the hotel's Wi-Fi. However, know whether your data plan will be effective in a different country, even if it works be ready to pay a hefty amount for overseas usage.

Be ready to pay for the Wi-Fi

If the speed of free Wi-Fi sucks you, ask for the premium versions. It will possibly be better. However, you have to pay for it. If you are a member of hotel's loyalty program, this paid Wi-Fi may be free for you.

Everyone loves Wi-Fi, but slow connections can irritate the users. In this interconnected world, the hotels cannot go a long way with slow internet connections. They have to improve the technology to grab the attention of their consumers.

Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of Wi-Fi networks for the multifamily, hospitality and healthcare industries. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

A post by StevenScheck (20 Posts)

StevenScheck is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of Wi-Fi networks for the multifamily, hospitality and healthcare industries. When he isn't bringing Wi-Fi to the masses, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and 4 kids and occasionally gets in a round of golf. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

Do you have any questions? Please ask.