It comes as no surprise that today’s traveler gobbles up hotel bandwidth and comes back for seconds. With an increasing number of connected devices coming along on both business and leisure trips, it is difficult to keep up with the demand. Hundreds of guests carry an average of 3 devices and they all clamor to get connected in the lobby, guestrooms, and business center. With expectations for speedy Wi-Fi being at an all-time high, it is crucial to guest loyalty that hotels can deliver.
The following information is based on a survey of over 500 hotels conducted in May of 2015 by Hotel Internet Services.
The majority of hoteliers asked have upgraded their networks in the last 3 years. At first glance, that sounds pretty good! At the time of this survey, roughly the same amount of hoteliers said they intended to upgrade their Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately for your “recently” upgraded network, a lot can change in 36 months. Every 12 to 18 months, computers double their capabilities. That spells trouble if your network is more than 2 years old. Still think not much can change in a year or 3? Here are some news highlights from 2012 to put it in perspective:
- Gangnam Style took over the world
- London hosted the summer Olympics
- William and Kate announced their (first) royal pregnancy
- The Kony 2012 documentary went viral
- The first Pitch Perfect movie hit the big screen
- Facebook made its stock market debut (and tanked)
- President Obama was voted in for his second term
- Red Bull stuntman Felix Baumgartner jumped from 127,000 feet back down to Earth
If that blast from the past is not enough to make you call into question the age of your current Wi-Fi network, take a look at the release schedule of Apple products:
That’s just first generation! With a 2 year adoption period for most consumer electronics, you can bet 2012 was when most of the population started to adopt iPads or some version of a tablet released in the market. The second generation iPad came out in 2014, so we have yet to feel the full bandwidth demands of that release or the Apple Watch which came out earlier this year.
Perhaps worse than waiting more than 3 years to upgrade your Wi-Fi network, is failing to increase the amount of bandwidth you can offer guests when you do upgrade. Only 54% of hotels answered “yes” when asked if they planned to increase their total guest Internet bandwidth!
Fortunately, it isn’t necessary for hoteliers to buy an unlimited supply of bandwidth. By allocating bandwidth amounts to specific guests or groups, they can better balance the consumption without breaking the bank.
The best way to know if it’s time to upgrade your Wi-Fi network, is to ask your guest. Make customer satisfaction surveys available and monitor TripAdvisor reviews. In the end, it’s all about giving the customer a excellent experience and a reason to come back for more.