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Will Free Wi-Fi Ever Be Ubiquitous?

Jul 31, 2013 9:55:37 AM

Hotel systems are moving to the cloud more quickly than ever - telephones, TV's, room management systems, keycard solutions, and more are all beginning to live on the same network. Additionally, hotels provide Internet connection to guest rooms, the lobby, the restaurant, conference rooms - the list goes on. Add to that guests who carry 2 or 3 devices and you have a serious lack of bandwidth issue.

Ideally, hotels would be able to accommodate more bandwidth, but replacing old infrastructure, which often includes physical remodels to accommodate, is costly and time-consuming, and the pay-off is less than tangible.

Once all properties realize the reality of Wi-Fi as a necessity (like hot water or door locks), we will start to see free Wi-Fi access as a standard. Activities that require more bandwidth, like streaming music and video conferencing, will likely continue to cost more to offset and deter data hogging. A practice we, and many industry veterans, deem fair.

Hoteliers that offer better, faster Internet access see the investment pay off by way of adding value to the guest experience and increasing guest satisfaction. Hoteliers are also seeing increased revenue from restaurants, bars, and more through keeping guests on property with reliable Wi-Fi access.

Inspired by Travelution’s recent interview of Vienna Kempinski’s Senior VP of Information Technology.