Here are 5 ways hotels can improve their guest WIFI systems:
1. Enterprise WIFI equipment VS Small office/Home office (SOHO)
Hotels should be using enterprise class WIFI access points throughout their premises and not SOHO class access points. SOHO stands for small office/home office, which means they are suitable for the home environment where there are only a handful of devices connected at any one time. Enterprise class WIFI equipment uses much better components and is designed to be able to handle a large number of user connections. Components such as the CPU, RAM and antennas are far superior in enterprise grade WIFI equipment when compared to SOHO.
The term COGS or cost of goods sold can be applied to WIFI equipment which helps to illustrate this point. For example if we take a typical SOHO WIFI router that you could purchase in your local computer shop for €120, the COGS of this would typically be 1/6th of this price, which equates to €20. If we take a typical enterprise class WIFI access point that might cost €800, the COGS would be €133. So the cost of the SOHO WIFI router is actually cheaper than the COGS price of the enterprise class WIFI access point.
2.4GHz VS 5GHz
There are still many hotels in Ireland that still have WIFI solutions that are only utilizing the 2.4GHz frequency band. The 2.4GHz frequency band is unlicensed which means there will most likely be interference from Non-WIFI devices such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices etc. Simply put, the 2.4GHz frequency is over-saturated and you should be utilising the 5GHz frequency in your hotel.
Nearly every modern WIFI solution will have a 5GHz radio built in to the WIFI access point. The 5GHz frequency is also unlicensed but there is far less interference from everyday household electronic equipment. The 5GHz frequency also has faster data transfer rates which translates into a much better WIFI experience for your guests. All of the latest smartphones and tablets now come with 5GHz capable antennas.
3. Correct channel setup on your access points
If you have purchased your WIFI access points in the local computer store and set them up yourself, or maybe an inexperienced ‘IT’ person has set them up for you, the chances that you have all of your access points on the same channel is quite high. In the 2.4GHz frequency band, there is only three channels that do not overlap, 1,6 and 11. If you have all of your access points on channel 1, this will seriously degrade performance if multiple access points are within range of each other. Again this comes back to 2.4GHz VS 5GHz; your access points should be 5GHz capable as there are many more channels to utilise.
4. Use a single SSID (WIFI Name) throughout your hotel
There is nothing more frustrating than staying in a hotel which has a WIFI system where all of the access points have different names. For example, Reception-WIFI, Bar-WIFI, Leisure-WIFI, 1st floor-WIFI etc. This can be frustrating because it means the guest has to manually connect to a different access point when they fall out of range of the original one they connected to. Hotel guest WIFI systems should have a single name throughout the hotel. This can be as simple as ****Hotel-FreeWIFI. This allows guests to seamlessly move throughout the hotel and roam between access points without being disconnected and without having to manually connect to a different access point with a different name.
5. Fix poor internet connection speed
Without stating the obvious, if you do not have an adequate internet connection speed, your guests will never have a good experience with your WIFI system even if you have used enterprise grade equipment throughout your hotel. If your hotel simply cannot get a faster connection speed due to its location, there are other options available such as a wireless internet service provider (WISP) or the possibility of installing a satellite broadband connection.
If you do have an adequate broadband connection but find it is performing poorly at peak times, this can be due to a small number of users who are essentially using up all of your connection possibly due to downloading of large files or heavy streaming. This can be prevented by giving each user a maximum upload and download speed. This ensures even distribution among all guests in your hotel.
1. Don’t use cheap WIFI equipment designed for home use.
2. Use WIFI access points with 5GHz radios.
3. Ensure the WIFI access points are setup using channels that do not interfere with each other.
4. Use a single SSID (Name) for your guest WIFI, such as ****Hotel-FreeWIFI
5. Get the best internet connection you can afford, a great WIFI system with slow connection speed is not a great WIFI system.
Chat to us: for more on SenSys Hotel WiFi solutions Ireland: 1800 815 683