Internet network quality and adequate bandwidth ensure the efficiency of smart automation services, determining the technological level of a Hotel.
In 2022, the Hospitality world is evolving more and more at the level of smart technologies and IoT, and Guest Room Management Systems, giving customers some autonomy in managing their stay and interconnected services that can meet all kinds of needs. We are talking, for example, about the increasingly popular self check-in, in which the customer arrives and can head directly to their smart room door and enter conveniently using the app on their smartphone. Another popular trend is the smart TV in guest rooms, which allows guests to enjoy a range of extra features, such as making restaurant or room service reservations directly through the TV or playing online streaming content of their choice.
All these new directions in the Hospitality market rely on technological innovation in facilities and guest rooms, in addition to the increasingly ‘taken for granted’ Hotel Internet and Wi-Fi network. In 2022, it is not possible to conceive of a Hotel that does not have Internet access or provide guests with this service. The online browsing mode today also represents a parameter that defines the quality of a stay and consequently determines the quality of the correlated services (e.g., of the services mentioned before: self check-in, access via smartphones, smart TV, online streaming content…).
A Hotel’s Internet network is the foundation on which its most advanced services are built and determines a facility’s ability to follow new market trends and innovate. To offer a good Internet network, adequate bandwidth is essential to ensure optimal browsing.
What is bandwidth?
When people talk about bandwidth, they’re talking about how fast a network is. Bandwidth is like a water pipe. The larger the pipe, the more water (data) can get through. If you don’t have enough bandwidth, the internet will reach users in slow drips.
Bandwidth is measured in Mbps units: megabits per second. The higher the Mbps, the faster the internet. There is download speed and upload speed. When a hotel is considering an internet upgrade, they consider both.
Download speeds apply to downloaded data from a server in the form of images, videos, text, files and audio to a device. Download speeds include jamming on Spotify, downloading large files or streaming videos on Netflix.
Upload speed is to how fast a guest can send information from their computer to another device or server on the internet. Upload speeds apply to sending email, playing video games, and Zoom sessions.
To calculate how much bandwidth your Hotel needs, consider the services your guests are likely to use. As an example, Amazon Echo does not use much bandwidth, whereas Apple TV uses a hefty amount. It is important to calculate an appropriate estimate based on the services that are made available to clients.
Industry experts suggest 2 Mbps for video services and an additional 2 Mbps for all other online activities, totaling 4 Mbps of download capacity per room. (Also, Vijay Patil, network engineer for Gx2 Technology, recommends Hotels dedicate a minimum of 200 Mb to guest Wi-Fi.) And remember that not all guests are using Wi-Fi at the same time.
Industry experts urge hoteliers to plan for technology upgrades every 3-5 years to ensure that the service is always up to date and able to support the innovations being made in this field. On the other hand, guests use the Internet on vacation as they do at home, and it is important for them to have the same (or higher) quality for surfing when they are traveling or in an accommodation facility. It is well worth the investment.