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WiFi in hotels: faster, stronger and soon even further

While efficient and free WiFi has practically become standard at international hotels, the sector's actors continue to improve their offer by making it more efficient and even mobile.

Today, being able to connect to Internet is no longer considered a service by hotel guests, but a basic commodity as essential as running water and heating. The hotel industry has progressively adapted its supply to this need that has become a priority by democratizing WiFi access in recent years. At times this has been done to the detriment of the quality of the connection, a factor that has joined the ranks of top criteria for customer satisfaction. Hotel groups are now attacking this challenge.

For example, Louvre Hotels has put forward the transparency of its offer by launching WiFi + and WiFi ++ labels. Thus hotels where the debit is temporarily 1mpbs per user with a symmetric download and upload flux, receive a WiFi+ label. The WiFi++ label, meanwhile guarantees maximum fluidity at 2mpbs per user, thus giving access to HD quality. Moreover, to support the unfurling of professional fiber and to ensure the distribution of the debit, the ratio of relay antennae in hotels is progressively being increased from 1:10 rooms to 1:6.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has opted for performance and efficiency of its Internet connection by launching a new unlimited very high speed WiFi offer. The group's customers are now able to connect any device anywhere in the hotel with just one click. It promises a more efficient connection for everyone and everything.

For B&B Hôtels, the WiFi connection is fast thanks to fiber. The French group has signed a partnership with Numericable in 2014, to install optical fiber at all its 214 hotels. Clients now have a very high speed Internet connection as well as a more complete television cluster with additional channels (BeIN Sports, Euronews, i24 News, DW) and access to many Paramount films.

Now that it is faster, WiFi is now becoming more mobile. A new transition is taking place in the hotel industry to provide guests with WiFi that works not only throughout the hotel but throughout the destination. Among the leaders of the trend, Room Mate recently reveled WiMate, its free WiFi offer that works throughout the city where the hotel is located. The Spanish hotel group thus makes a small wireless device available to its guests that may be carried in a pocket or bag to connect up to six devices and benefit from a hi-speed connection throughout the city. This service is available at all the group's properties, whether in New York, Miami, Mexico, Amsterdam, Florence, Istanbul, Madrid, Barcelona, Grenada, Malaga, Oviedo and Salamanca.

This technology is taking its first steps in France, where the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile has announced it is the first hotel in the country to offer its clients Peeble. It is a mobile pocket hotspot that allows tourists, especially foreigners to stay connected any place, any time, during their stay. The Peeble works like any connected terminal and its user may easily carry it around in a pocket or bag. It offers a rapid and unlimited mobile Internet connection, that may be shared simultaneously with 10 mobile terminals  (smartphones, tablets, portable computers) while avoiding roaming fees since the price per day is set by the hotel. The hotspot is available in French, English and Chinese.

While nearly all clients, especially business clients, have a Smartphone (or several), a tablet and or a computer, connectivity is occupying a growing position in the international hotel industry and is becoming the standard. After establishing itself in hotel rooms, the new boundary for WiFi  to cross has become the destination.

Are you a fan of hotel innovations? Then vote for the best presentations among the candidates at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards (a Hospitality ON event)

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