Preparing your property for Passpoint will take preparation and resources, but we believe it is well worth it because guests will have richer and more personalized online experiences at your property.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series we discussed several benefits of moving to Passpoint-authenticated Wi-Fi. Now, we layout the 4 main considerations for preparing your hotel for Passpoint:
- Wi-Fi Access Points and Controllers – To take advantage of Passpoint, hotels need a wireless infrastructure that supports 802.11u. Once upgraded, the network will “broadcast” the hotel’s venue information and Passpoint services, such as roaming partnerships and visitor sign-up options, to capable clients.
- Billing and Policy Management – New traffic management, software, and policies will be necessary for supporting and identifying users, as well as providing appropriate access permission, bandwidth levels, and signup services. Additionally, roaming requests must be routed to the proper destinations and this usage must be tracked and accounted for. This is done with software that sits on top of and integrates with your network infrastructure
- Hotel Bandwidth – Hotels that setup roaming agreements with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will see traffic move from these mobile networks onto the hotel Wi-Fi network, which will certainly take its toll on unprepared infrastructure. Consider boosting Internet circuit bandwidth during peak times of the day and events, when typical mobile data usage is highest. Adding load-balancing and failover capabilities via multiple WAN connections is also recommended.
- Business Relationships and Roaming Agreements – Hoteliers should evaluate their current business agreements and loyalty program partnerships to determine who they should allow to access their network and at what service level. Passpoint provides options for hoteliers to lease their infrastructure to MNOs to distribute services to their subscribers, but hoteliers need to weigh the monetary benefits of this against the value of having direct interactions with guests when they access the Internet.
How are you preparing your technology strategy now?
To learn more about Passpoint and updating your network, see these resources:
- Aruba Networks White Paper: Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint Architecture for Public Access
- Network World: A Few Finally Find HotSpot 2.0 Wi-Fi Connections
- Wi-Fi Alliance: Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint