embracing a new era
The hospitality industry is ramping up its investment in robust connectivity to give customers
Tthe service they expect. But in-building coverage can still pose a challenge. By Kate O’Flaherty he hospitality industry is under increasing pressure.
Hotels are at the heart of this: customers want
seamless connectivity to enable the streaming services
they receive at home, but this can be expensive and
technically challenging. Even so, hotels are starting to invest as they
strive to stay ahead in a highly competitive environment fuelled by
review sites such as Trip Advisor.
And although super-fast connectivity for customers doesn’t
provide a direct revenue stream, the applications it enables are also
cutting costs and driving eciencies behind the scenes. But Wi-Fi is
often not enough and many hotels are adding cellular connectivity
through small cells to ensure coverage.
Lightning-fast connectivity is essential to the functioning of a
modern hotel, says Carla Milovanov, SVP, digital and technology,
Accor Europe and Northern Europe. While the cost of
connectivity has decreased over recent years, the demands on
services are greater than ever before, she says. “Two years ago,
fibre connectivity of 100Mbps was breaking new ground, but today
Twitter:@Land_Mobile | www.landmobile.co.uk | July 2019 15
most hotels are looking at a minimum of 1Gbps to
provide guests with the experience theyexpect.”
For example, they want to watch Netflix through
Google’s Chromecast streaming devices in hotel
rooms, says Juan Aguirre, director, EMEA hospitality
and MDU Solutions at Ruckus. “But you need
bandwidth and quality of service to do this,” he adds.
Adding to this, Milovanov points out that the
back oce of a hotel requires incredibly “robust
connectivity and fast speeds” to manage competing
real-time bookings and revenue management.
The connectivity challenge
It’s a well-known fact that getting cellular signal into a
hotel can be dicult due to materials used in modern
buildings such as doubleglazing. “Hotels can be using
materials that inhibit mobile signal,” says Gearóid
Collins, sales director at Vilicom.
The modern cladding glazing standard to get good
environmental ratings for buildings can cause issues,
agrees Steve Waldron, CTO at Grange Hotels. “Most
buildings are concrete. That, in addition to cladding
and reflective glass, reflects mobilesignals.”
Making things worse, says Collins: “Sometimes, one
side of the building may not have coverage and the
“Two years ago, fibre connectivity
of 100Mbps was breaking new
ground, but today most hotels are
looking at a minimum of 1Gbps”