In recent years, there have been vast improvements made in the world of mobile data connectivity and these are proving beneficial to countless businesses, across a wide range of industries. When thinking about the organisations gleaning the benefits of these advancements, those in hospitality may not be the first that spring to mind, but they are certainly high up on the list…
The hospitality industry is a large umbrella covering a number of business types, with hotels being arguably the largest of them all. Hotels come in all shapes and sizes and are found in all corners of the country. Some of the most iconic hotels in the UK are set in picturesque countryside, providing their guests with a beautiful setting in which to enjoy their stay. However, there is often a common factor hampering hotels in these remote locations – the lack of decent Internet connectivity options.
In this day and age, Internet performance is one of the top criteria for guests when it comes to choosing where they stay. One trade off many hotels have to make for a five star setting is a one star Internet connection, and unfortunately a slow, intermittent or laggy Internet connection can have a big impact on the bottom line for a hotel as guests can be left frustrated and unlikely to return.
Mobile data connectivity is rapidly becoming the saviour for hotels finding themselves in this situation – let’s take a look as to how this technology FREES hotels from the restraints of poor connectivity:
Being in a beautiful setting in the middle of the countryside often means that fixed line connectivity options are very limited due to the restricted infrastructure serving these premises. Hotels in these surroundings may only have access to a very slow broadband circuit, or the option of paying a punchy premium to get a Dedicated Fibre Ethernet circuit installed, which will usually involve a disruptive and lengthy installation process with a very expensive circuit as the end result. The advancements in mobile data coverage and speeds are increasingly alleviating these issues for these previously hard to reach hotels, allowing them to keep up with the latest technology and applications that better connected hotels have adopted.
Speed is not always a problem for hotels as many are well served with fixed line connectivity options, and many that aren’t have bitten the bullet and paid the premium to get the required connectivity installed. One thing that is always top of a hotel’s priority list however is the reliability of their connectivity set up, as Internet access is now at the heart of the successful day to day running of a hotel. Mobile data solutions are not dependent on the physical cabling running in to buildings meaning they are the ideal supplement to fixed line connectivity. The combination of physically cabled and wireless connectivity provides a very resilient network topology, ensuring the potential issues a circuit outage may cause are mitigated against, ensuring these hotels, and importantly their guests, stay connected when they most need to.
Go back only a decade or so, and a single basic broadband connection serving the office of the main hotel building would have been all that was required to run the business successfully and meet the needs of the staff and guests. Now, the services and devices demanding access to the Internet just keeps growing and growing, meaning there are often a number of different locations within a hotel’s estate that need to be kept online. One way to achieve this, and traditionally the only real option, was to connect everything up to the local network with physical cabling to link back to the hotel’s office Internet connection. The diversification of connected device type and location means this approach is getting trickier and trickier to manage with fixed wires, and mobile data is changing how these networks are managed for the better. Whether it be the requirement to take card payments in the halfway house of the on-site golf course, the ability to stream a wedding ceremony from the estate’s luxurious converted barn to guests unable to attend in person, or cellular security cameras keeping the edge of the estate protected, mobile data SIMs are making expanding the hotel network to meet these growing demands a piece of cake.
Ultimately, everything discussed so far is focused on improving the experience of the guests the hotel is catering for. Happy guests will remember their stay fondly, will be more likely to return or recommend the hotel to someone else, or they may be more inclined to leave a positive online review to increase the reputation of a hotel and ultimately increase the profitability of the business moving forwards. Whether it be a faster and more efficient check in/out process, the ability for business guests to check emails or VPN in to their organisation’s network, or a parent being able to stream Peppa Pig on the iPad to entertain the kids while enjoying their stay, the role fast and reliable Internet connectivity plays in the guest experience is ever increasing in importance and should never be underestimated!
- Smart Hotels
A large number of organisations within hospitality have already incorporated the Internet of Things (IoT) into their business in some way, with many of the benefits the technology brings with it particularly relevant to hotels. The development and adoption of IoT within hotels is helping these businesses become more efficient and profitable, while also providing a more enjoyable and tailored experience for guests. There are countless ways IoT can be encompassed in to a hotel, but one of the most noticeable is the deployment of “smart” hotel rooms. These “connected rooms” can provide hotel staff with the monitoring of various devices and applications in almost real time, allowing any potential issues to be highlighted and repaired before any damage is done. For guests, these same technologies provide the ability to experience hyper-personalised stays as they can be given the ability to control things such as heating, air conditioning, television settings, lighting etc. all from their mobile phone or a tablet. The contribution of improving mobile data connectivity and SIMs towards the facilitation, adoption and expansion of IoT and “smart” hotels is huge, with this only looking likely to increase as IoT technologies develop even further.