Generating Revenue From In-Room Wi-Fi
By Jason Guest Account Manager, Americas, Aptilo Networks | July 03, 2011
Wireless Internet is changing the way business gets done in the hotel industry. There's a tremendous demand for wireless access - for overnight guests and even for conferences and trade shows. It's not just for email and Web surfing anymore. Video streaming, audio streaming and voice-over-IP are all competing for the same Internet pipe. This is compounded by the growing trend for trade shows and conferences to offer high-speed wireless data service to their attendees, which can slow Internet traffic to a crawl.
This demand means opportunities for new revenue streams. Wireless has also created new ways for hotels to connect with their guests to generate loyalty.
Wireless Now a "Must-Have"
Offering in-room Wi-Fi is becoming a "must-have" for the hospitality industry. In the past guests would expect a hardline T-1 connection or cable (some hotels charge for the cable). This quickly became the standard. Now, however, with iPads, wirelessly enabled smartphones and other devices in every businessperson's briefcase, pocket or pocketbook, the ability to jump onto a Wi-Fi connection in your room is quickly becoming the new expectation and the new standard. Many hotels tout in-room Wi-Fi in their marketing to compete for business.
Guests are using in-room Wi-Fi for more than just email. Today - in a shift that's far different than, say, even five years ago - guests expect to be able to download movies onto their laptop, iPad or iPhone. They may be using a streaming video service such as Netflix or Hulu to watch their favorite flick or TV show, or watching videos on YouTube. They may be downloading music for the plane ride home, or just emailing very large PowerPoint files among colleagues.
Wi-Fi for Meetings and Conventions