2019 has seen the goalposts move in regards to what guests are requiring when they travel for work and leisure.
Guest wifi can be the showstopper to someone staying with you, or not. It is a utility and a must have.
Data amounts that guests are going through have increased dramatically and speed and good signal strength are key requirements.
People want to do what they do at home while they are on holidays or travelling for work. They want to watch their own subscriptions of Netflix, Stan, Kayo, Foxtel, etc or listen to their subscription music through Spotify.
Guests want fast, free wifi with unlimited data with the ability to be able to cast and stream their own content, easily and everywhere.
Statistica.com recently published figures regarding Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) in Australia.
• Number of Netflix subscriptions 2017 – 2.7 million
• Number of Netflix subscriptions 2020 – 3.3 million
These figures are staggering.
Statistica.com say: “Streaming services of all types are becoming the most popular and influential platforms in the world. It almost seems like television shows and DVDs are becoming less important and are going to be replaced by video streaming services in the future.
“Video streaming is a type of media streaming in which a selected video program is continuously delivered via the internet to a remote user. Thus, the video can be watched online without the need to be downloaded on a computer or any other device. Australia is ranked number six in terms of video streaming penetration rate after the United State, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Finland.”
On demand services will increase and you need to ensure your guest wifi system is scalable to meet the guest demands.
Some questions to ask your provider or to ensure when selecting a guest wifi provider are:
• Can you add additional NBN connections to your backbone to increase bandwidth as required?
• Does each unit have their own secure network within the unit to ensure secure casting?
Don’t spend money on systems that won’t give you this functionality.
This leads me to casting. Casting gives guests the ability to cast their own content from their own SVoD service and their own device (smartphone, tablet, etc) to your smart TV and stream. Or they can plug in their Google Chromecast, Apple TV or gaming device and stream it on the unit’s TV. Casting is one of the top three sought after features a guest wants and is a core feature that must be included in your guest wifi system.
Guests want to bring their own streaming subscriptions; they don’t want to have to enter their account details on your TV.
Important: For guests to be able to cast, you must ensure that your guest wifi system can isolate the devices on the network to each specific unit so only guests in that unit can cast to that units TV. You do not want someone in another unit being able to cast unwanted/undesirable shows onto a guest’s TV in a different unit!
Earlier in 2019 I touched on 5G and what it would mean to wifi. Why do you still need to provide wifi to guests if this new super-fast technology will be available to everyone?
The key points to remember about 5G are that the signal range shortens from kilometres to hundreds of metres, requiring transmission towers to be closer together. The higher frequencies used in 5G applications have difficulty penetrating solid objects such as buildings, walls and windows. 5G signal is more easily blocked by obstacles. Without transmission towers close together the signal penetration into buildings will be poor, often requiring receivers on the outside of buildings cabled to access points inside the buildings and on every floor or every unit, particularly if your doors and walls are fire rated.
5G could be an NBN alternative but is unlikely to replace other broadband plans and options. It will offer faster speeds for mobile phones, tablets and other devices such as Internet of Things (IOT) devices. Although it may offer faster speeds than NBN, the coverage will be limited in comparison due to network infrastructure required and shorter signal range.
You still need the wifi equipment inside the complex and a management system to offer secure, unlimited data with the best signal coverage and fastest speeds available to your guests.
Happy guests are returning guests.
Give them great wifi signal and fast internet and you will have very happy guests.
Have a great summer holiday season.