Guests expect a perfect guest wifi service and experience

Accom Management Guide Summer 2018/2019

Guest wifi is no longer considered an amenity, it is an expected service. It is a utility and as important as running water, electricity and a comfortable bed.

Guests not only want wifi to be free, they want it to be unlimited data, fast, secure, reliable and everywhere!

Today’s travellers want the conveniences they have at home and they now expect accommodation providers to deliver on these same conveniences.

They want to connect and forget. They want to relax in their unit watching their own Netflix account, exactly where it leG off when they departed home. They want to be able to cast content securely, bring their Google Assistant and Foxtel Now box and be ‘at home’.

When internet service providers talk about guest wifi with accommodation providers, there are numerous areas they need to discuss with you and each area is as important as the next.

Data and speed/bandwidth
Unlimited data is a must for all guests and most internet service providers’ plans have unlimited monthly data. The speed you offer your guests in their unit is going to be dependent on the speed you can get at your complex.

You may need multiple internet connections depending on how many units you want covered and the speed you are able to get from a provider. Your guest wifi provider will help guide you with this, however a minimum of 8-12 Mbps per unit is recommended to start with. If you have more speed to give, definitely give them more. 8-12 Mbps will get one unit 2-3 Standard Definition Netflix streams at the same time in that unit.

When guest wifi providers set up your system, they liaise with you regarding the bandwidth availability and ensure that they configure the controller accordingly to allow for adequate speeds to be available throughout the resort, including your office.

Signal strength, connectivity and reliability
In-room guest wifi systems are a must. Every unit or hotel room needs its own wireless access point or modem to ensure that the signal is close enough and strong enough for connectivity and transmission. Some units may need more than one device if they are a large space and we determine this during a site survey.
External or hallway guest wifi systems or only having a wireless device installed in every second room or unit will give you black spots and not allow for reliable connectivity of devices, particularly Smart TVs. It will not give the guest a secure individual network in their room unit as they have at home.
There are many different ways of delivering an in-room guest wifi solution and a site survey will determine the best possible and most cost-effective solution.

Security
You need to ensure that each room or unit has its own password.
When your guests use a casting device you must ensure that your guest wifi system can isolate that device on the network to each specific unit so only guests in that unit can cast to the TV. This is very important as you do not want someone in another unit being able to cast unwanted/undesirable shows onto your guest’s TV in a different unit.

Marketing your guest wifi
“Guest wifi with unlimited data. Bring Your Own content and devices – ChromeCasts, gaming devices, AppleTVs, Foxtel Now, Google Assistant, etc and use our wifi to stream and play!
Easy connectivity in a secure in room network. Cast and stream and live the dream!”

Does your current wifi system allow you to market this way?

Choosing the right guest wifi supplier is essential. Ask for references. Read their testimonials. Talk to their customers. Ask about their customer service and support. You want to ensure what is going to be delivered is not going to be redundant in a year’s time.

The cheapest solution is not always the best solution and you must compare apples to apples.

Ask your guest wifi supplier to explain how everything works in layman’s terms if you don’t understand what they are trying to provide you. You may have to sell the solution to your owners, the committee or body corporate
and understanding what you want them to pay for is crucial.

Your supplier should provide you with a professional and comprehensive proposal that outlines exactly what they will require for the installation, what they are installing and what the outcome will be for you. ■