It seems that everyone’s got the travel bug these days, presenting the hospitality industry with myriad opportunities to attract new customers and keep them coming back. Sure, having those Instagram-worthy views, curated grounds and organic room amenities are important to attract those guests and coveted influencers, but if they can’t post that “perfect photo” or share their experience with friends and family in real time, did it even happen? The increasingly tech-savvy expectations of hotel guests have forced the hospitality industry to rethink the way it approaches connectivity.
Sixty-six percent of guests want easier ways to connect, with a chunk of visitors admitting they’re unhappy about hotel connectivity difficulties. Nothing kills a vacation like not being able to binge the latest season of your favorite show or play those perfect tunes in high-definition poolside, drink in hand. With current internet service unable to meet growing bandwidth demands of guests and influencers to stream and post FOMO-inspiring content, it’s time for a data infrastructure remodel and a fiber-based connectivity solution that matches the reliability of your top-tier service experience.
Only fiber provides sufficient bandwidth to support all services on a single network and unlike that trendy new lobby design, it is future-proof and can be incrementally upgraded as new technologies and needs emerge. Contrast that with multiple costly amplifications needed for DSL and coaxial cable connections of copper infrastructure—which corrodes over time and needs amplifiers to boost signals—and it’s easy to see why connectivity problems persist.
Seamless, reliable internet is now a major deciding factor when choosing accommodations and influencing guest attitudes. For example, an overhaul of fiber network connectivity at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Dayton, Ohio, catapulted this location into the top 1 percent of customer satisfaction results.
By correcting chronic connectivity problems with more reliable fiber, hotels can improve the guest experience and drive new revenue; for example, becoming a destination for business travelers who demand high-reliability and speedy internet to conduct important video and conference calls.
It’s not just guests’ ability to connect to their favorite content and people that makes fiber important, its reliability ensures reservation and transactions systems are operational around the clock. Nothing kills an experience faster than standing in line waiting to check in or out because the system is down.
Ahead of the Technological Curve
Today’s hotel guests use more data than ever before. Eighty-two percent of American guests use in-room Wi-Fi on numerous devices, with 65 percent of guests logging on to hotel Wi-Fi within seven minutes of checking in. Pain points will persist on copper networks as technology continues to evolve with growing bandwidth appetites. The desire for high-speed connectivity will continue to trend upward for new generations of guests.
With 5G connectivity on the horizon and no end to the proliferation of Internet of Things devices that foster customer experience innovations, investing in the robust and almost infinitely expandable capacity of fiber optical infrastructure is a winning strategy. It is already 5G-ready and deployed for the next technological steps to meet guests’ connectivity standards.
Future-proofing demand and improving reliability revitalizing antiquated data infrastructure to fiber remains the best answer to the hospitality industry’s connectivity problems.
Shrihari Pandit is the president and CEO of Stealth Communications.