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Is Free WiFi always the answer?

The average free to guest WiFi connectivity offers a fraction of the bandwidth guests are used to at their home or office. When it comes to their technology experience at your hotel, guests expect the best and they are less likely to return to your property if they don’t get it.

Guests won’t put up with a slow or difficult service, even if it is free. In fact, according to the YTPartnership survey, 2010 iTRAVELLER study, 67% of guests stated they will not return to a hotel where they had a poor technology experience.

While guests increasingly demand free connectivity, the free WiFi model cannot be sustained commercially as bandwidth needs continue to grow with the prevalence of Big Data, which now includes a larger % of video traffic.
With tablets consuming 400% more WiFi enabled data on a monthly basis than smartphones*, the proliferation of mobile devices has only exacerbated the problem of meeting guests’ connectivity expectations. If your property has meeting and conference space or other common area wireless needs, this is also impacting on bandwidth demands.

Tailor the WiFi offering to suit guests needs.

iBAHN’s Bandwidth management solution, however, allows hotels to offer different pricing tiers for their guests, based on the guests connectivity needs, guaranteeing that guests receive the level of connectivity they require.

Dynamic bandwidth management is configured on the iBAHN system so that the service adjusts to user numbers and bandwidth needs. This ensures both that the hotels have control and records of usage while delivering best quality connectivity services at all times.

iBAHN provides monthly reporting on bandwidth usage and guest user experiences

Hotels can offer a ‘free to guest’ option which manages time, bandwidth or data transfer and they can select two of these attributes to be unlimited or three attributes to be limited. For a superior, paid for service, guests are then offered additional options and can select which package meets their connectivity requirements.

Hotels may also choose to offer free access to some or all premium services for certain types of guests, such as loyalty programme members.

In considering a pricing approach, there is good news: the 2010 iTRAVELLER survey indicated that more than 45% of business travellers are willing to pay for better quality, more secure, higher speed Internet connectivity.

Bandwidth management, whereby guests receive a certain level of service for free but must pay for higher quality connectivity, is proving a successful solution to the guests demand for free WiFi.

Providers, such as iBAHN, continue to develop new business models which offer a new approach to funding the infrastructure and the level of risk to a positive ROI.

To download iBAHN’s most recent white paper on Bandwidth Management click here.

To discuss how iBAHN can assist with your broadband & digital entertainment solutions please email aspacsales@ibahn.com.

www.ibahn.com

*according to a Meraki research study

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