The Future of Hotel Technology | Part II: The Proliferation of Mobile Devices

By Dan Lulich, Chief Technology Officer, Eleven Wireless

BYOD a.k.a. “Bring Your Own Device”

It took 13 years for television to attract 50 million viewers. That doesn’t seem like a very long time – until you compare it to the Internet. In just 4 years, the Internet attracted over 50 million surfers according to Gabay Jonathan’s book “Successful Cybermarketing in a Week.”

Between smartphones, laptops, and tablets, people these days have a multitude of different ways they connect online. Boingo Wireless recently reported that between 2007 and 2011, the total number of devices connecting to WiFi increased at least five-fold. And this doesn’t change when people travel, especially when traveling for business. According to a recent iPass report, 55% of business travelers connect to hotel Wi-Fi with two devices. It’s not a hard statistic to believe – just walk into any hotel lobby and you can observe this for yourself. You’ll see people checking email on their laptop while on a conference call, or playing a game on their tablet.

Tablets: Part Laptop, Part Smartphone, 100% Mobile

They’ve only been around for a couple years, but this is the device that is growing at an astounding rate. The research firm Gartner Group recently predicted that the number of iPads sold will reach 100 million by the end of 2012 and won’t slow down.

Tablet adoption will continue to soar over the next four years, according to a new report from the British company Strategy Analytics. They recently predicted that 780 million people will own tablets by 2016.

Why it Matters

Hoteliers are already aware that hotel guest Internet usage is on the rise as only 20% of guests used Internet during their stay in 2006, compared to 55% in 2012 according to a recent study by J.D. Powers. But they must also adapt to the growing number and anticipated growth of mobile devices, as this trend clearly isn’t slowing down.

It’s imperative to keep control over guest devices. From limiting the number of devices each guest can connect to allocating maximum bandwidth that is shared among all their devices, a guest Internet management platform (like Eleven) will surely help you keep a handle on the growing proliferation of mobile devices.