Upgrading Hotel Networks for the Data Onslaught
By Doug Lodder Senior Vice President of Business Development, Boingo Wireless, Inc. | January 26, 2014
The "connected traveler" has more than just arrived – they've taken up permanent residency at hotels and businesses across the travel ribbon.
With the ever increasing proliferation of faster, brighter, lighter devices, and with more than two-thirds of Americans owning a smartphone and more than 40% owning a tablet, it's no longer a question of whether a guest will be toting a device – but how many.
In the past two years alone, the number of "Digital Elite" travelers who carry at least two devices has grown by more than 600%, according to a study by MMGY Global/Harrison Group. More than a quarter of Americans over the age of 14 are now what Deloitte calls "digital omnivores," meaning that they own the three primary portable digital devices: a laptop, smartphone and tablet.
Hoteliers and technology providers are quickly innovating to meet demand and seize opportunities to improve the guest experience via mobile. Major hotel chains are rolling our full-featured apps and services like mobile check-in. Want to pre-order room service, select music, or change the temperature of your guest room, all before you arrive? There's an app for that.
But while the opportunity for fostering guest loyalty and improving customer services via mobile are greater than ever, the use of multiple mobile devices for guest work, leisure and customer care place a heavy burden on hotel Wi-Fi networks, at times requiring costly upgrades.
To meet growing demand for connectivity, and manage costs and capacity, major hotels are complimenting their existing Wi-Fi networks with a Distributed Antenna System network. A Distributed Antenna System, or DAS, network consists of multiple strategically placed antennas that distribute cellular network coverage to provide more efficient management of wireless capacity in heavily trafficked areas, ensuring consistent, reliable cellular coverage for users.
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