Understanding Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 and How to Leverage it for Your Business

By Jason Guest Account Manager, Americas, Aptilo Networks | October 06, 2013

Hotspot 2.0 is a new Wi-Fi standard put forth by the Wi-Fi Alliance that will have a significant impact on travelers. Hotspot 2.0 is designed to make Wi-Fi as secure and easy to use as mobile networks. When entering a new mobile network, users will be able to simply turn on their mobile phone. Mobile services will work instantly and be billed by the home operator through roaming. With Wi-Fi today users often need to manually find available Wi-Fi networks, and then sign up and pay for it online. Hotspot 2.0 is designed to eliminate this hassle.

Hotspot 2.0 enables compatible mobile devices to automatically and silently discover Wi-Fi access points that have roaming agreements with the user’s home network, then automatically and securely connect. This will open up new business opportunities for hotels when a critical mass of Hotspot 2.0-enabled Wi-Fi access points and devices have been rolled out.

Roaming agreements will no longer exclusively be between operators but also between operator and hotel and any other organization with a Wi-Fi network. More importantly, Wi-Fi traffic will skyrocket as usage will be as seamless as the mobile 3G/4G service. International travelers benefit as they will no longer need to pay costly 3G/4G roaming charges and therefore typically disable roaming by default. Hotspot 2.0 will also put pressure on hotels offering Wi-Fi services, as real carrier-class services will become a must in the highly competitive hospitality industry.

Understanding Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0 and How to Leverage it for Your Business

Everybody talks about Hotspot 2.0 as the next big thing in Wi-Fi, but what will it mean for the hospitality market?

First of all, don’t worry. Technology shifts tends to be hyped, but in the end it normally takes a longer time to roll out than most people expect. However, because the technology in Hotspot 2.0 is quite easy and cheap to implement, the rollout of new equipment will come quickly even if it will take some time before the features are in use everywhere.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.