HIS releases analysis of guest Wi-Fi, IoT expectations

A new white paper illustrates how guest demand for faster, more flexible and secure internet-based services is continuing to increase. Photo credit: Hotel Internet Services

Hotel Internet Services released a new white paper examining how advances in consumer technology have impacted and heightened guest expectations of hotel Wi-Fi and related services. Using feedback from a recent survey conducted with more than 670 guests and 200 hoteliers across the United States, the white paper demonstrates how the expanding functionality of smart personal devices and evolving online guest behavior is placing greater strain on hotel Wi-Fi networks. 

By comparing the results of the 2019 survey with a similar survey conducted in 2015, the white paper also illustrates how guest demand for faster, more flexible and secure internet-based services is continuing to increase at a rapid pace.

Titled “Meeting Hotel Guest Wi-Fi Expectations in the Age of Hyper Connectivity and IoT,” the white paper reveals several notable findings. These include the fact that guests attempting to connect multiple devices to a hotel's Wi-Fi stands at 76 percent, an increase of almost 10 percent since 2015. 

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Just as relevant to adequate property bandwidth performance is the type of content and online activities that guests seek while traveling. More than 90 percent of hoteliers surveyed in 2019 for instance, rated online content streaming to be among the most highly sought-out services by guests. 

With guests also increasingly accustomed to devices such as Google Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV in their homes, 65 percent of today's guests indicate a desire to access the same casting abilities in the guestroom, up from 52 percent in 2015. Another 65 percent of guests further indicated a preference to cast an array of apps in addition to content streaming, further placing greater resource demands on a hotel’s Wi-Fi service.

"Hoteliers have understood the importance that guests place on Wi-Fi for some time now; however, many may not fully grasp the implications of how quickly consumer technology and online guest behavior is evolving and what that means to how Wi-Fi and related services are being offered at their properties," HIS CEO Gary Patrick said in a statement. “With new devices and abilities experiencing more frequent use among an ever-greater majority of the guest demographic, this white paper provides hoteliers with vital details on the types of functionalities that networks now need to be able to cater to, as well as shedding light on current guest expectations versus hotel performance realities.”

More than 90 percent of guest HIS survey respondents indicated that access to a hotel's Wi-Fi was very important. Another 85 percent stressed that Wi-Fi quality would affect their decision to rebook with a specific property or hotel brand. While hotelier respondents likewise indicated the importance of signal quality in high numbers, more than 80 percent of guests disclosed that they often encountered issues with poor signal coverage. 

With personal data security often being noted as a top guest concern, HIS survey data likewise indicated that more than 90 percent of guests are worried about such issues when staying at a hotel. However, despite more than 80 percent of hotelier respondents identifying Wi-Fi data security as being very important, more than 60 percent indicated that they felt improvements could be made to their existing network.

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