Next-Gen Wi-Fi — Not Just Email Any Longer

By Jason Guest Account Manager, Americas, Aptilo Networks | May 27, 2012

The technology needs of hotel guests have changed significantly over the past five years. It used to be that guests, especially business travelers, were just looking for a room to sleep in. Families needed a bit more, with some additional entertainment options to keep everyone of all ages happy.

Then business travelers needed more amenities to help them get work done. Soon hotels were offering full-service Business Centers, and shifted to being a place where people could "get work done" and then to becoming almost a remote office, with all the capabilities that required including faxing and even staff to help facilitate complex tasks such as copying projects and shipping. While families, too, needed email access in their rooms for the adults to stay on top of their own work-related demands, the true demand for technology was being driven by the business guest.

Today, that scenario has turned on its head. While business travelers are still driving technology upgrades for hotels, the casual traveler, families, vacationers etc. are increasingly pushing the envelope with regard to new types of technologies and, in turn, what backbone support needs to be in place.

Why Wireless?

Guests need Internet access (in fact it's requirement – just ask any seasoned traveler). Not too long ago having one hardline Ethernet connection in each room was sufficient (some higher-end hotels even provided the cable). Today wireless Internet has taken that old Ethernet cable's place. Wireless is simply convenient for guests. That convenience is driving adoption.

You can see this evolution to wireless in the hardware available today: many new devices such as laptops are being built without that Ethernet port.

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