Just a few years ago, the need for a Wi-Fi in the hospitality industry was simple. During this time, only the support guests used the internet for their emails and web surfing. However, all this has suddenly changed. Today, guests’ stream videos, they chat over videos, they use smart phones and tablets and they also try to access secure applications and services. Moreover, the staff needs to access critical data and applications using Wi-Fi. Therefore, it is very important for the Wi-Fi in the hospitality industry to be robust, consistent and have a higher performance.
Advantages of wireless networks
Today, wireless technology is playing an important role in the hospitality industry for all stakeholders including the guests, the organization itself and tourists. A basic free connection can no longer sustain the high demand placed on the wireless network. This is the main reason why most hotels are increasing the amount of bandwidth to ensure that they are able to support their day-to-day workload. Therefore, a wireless network is no longer another amenity at hotels but a prerequisite for doing business since it comes with the following advantages
- Unlike the traditional LAN services, the hotel staffs do not have to be rooted behind their desks all day to monitor their system and make reservations. These staffs can now use their mobile to securely access reservation and administration tools from anywhere on the property thus guaranteeing their customers high levels of service.
- Through the use of wireless point of sale systems also called (PoS), the hotel staff can now take the clients orders for foods and other amenities around the property or even at the poolside.
- Thanks to the wireless voice communication, employees can now communicate and ensure that everything is running smoothly in the hotel.
- With the rise in popularity of tablets and inbuilt technologies such as televisions which are Wi-Fi enabled, wireless technology has become more appropriate in hotels than the Ethernet. Most guests will often seek the availability of wireless before making their reservations in a hotel one of the requirements for most clients is the availability of wireless. Hotels which offer Wi-Fi in guess rooms and common areas are guaranteed of more clients compared to those who do not. Wireless internet can also come as a communication package for the clients.
- Mobile applications are becoming more diversified more than ever. The hospitality industry is also joining the leagues of corporate that have adopted this technology to facilitate their service and making the work efficient. Today, hotels are employing the use of wireless personal digital assistants in a B2E context. The result of this technology is speedier services, ease of use, increased accuracy and enhanced reputation.
- Unlike the Ethernet, installing a wireless network is cheap to install given the fact that only few cables are need and moreover, you are not expected to have more nodes or computers.
- Wireless network is also scalable in the sense that they can be configured in a variety of topologies to the needs of certain applications. It also manages to serve a large number if clients at the same time unlike the Ethernet technology.
Concerns and risks
When it comes to wireless networks in the hospitality industry, the first concern that comes to mind is having an effective implementation. Most managers and hotel staff use their wireless enabled mobile devices such as the (PDA). Users at the same time try to connect their wireless devices to the hotel’s systems and this can end up causing a lot of logistic problems to the IT departments trying to control the use of the item in the building and at the same time control the security of the network.
The second concern that comes in mind is security. It is important for the IT technician in charge of implementing the technology into the hotel ensure that the network is not open to anyone otherwise, all the confidential data and information regarding the hotel will be vulnerable to theft and hackers. This is why some hotels have gone ahead to implement some physical solutions to radio frequencies leakage such as glass to prevent these waves from leaving the building. Remember leakages cannot be prevented completely but minimizing ensures that proper security policies are in place.
The third concern should be misuse of the internet by the staff. Some staff members are addicted to the internet and will try to misuse the internet even at the time when they are supposed to be working. Staff who enter into sites that require a lot of bandwidth end up slowing down the rate of at which the internet is surfing and this can end up being bad for business.
There are health related risks associated with using wireless internet. The routers and the modem that that helps to produce wireless internet often release dangerous electromagnetic radiations to send their signals to the computers and our devices through walls. Therefore anyone around these wireless signals slowly consumes these radiations which might in the long run lead to several health concerns.
Thanks to the wireless technology, the hospitality industry like the hotels are now increasing their revenues and maximizing their profits.