Tech for the best guest experiences in hospitality


When you travel, the whole idea is to experience new things and do things a little differently from what you would at home, right? Wrong.

Turns out that when it comes to tech and guest experiences, travellers want the same convenience and the same high-speed broadband that they have at home. This includes the ability to connect easily to all their favorite subscriptions.

This is the feedback Cambium Networks got from several hotel groups that they work with. When leadership is looking at tech, they’re asking: “How can we create that at-home experience for our guests? What technology do we need to make that happen?”

To answer those questions, you need to know three things:

  1. What devices are guests using and what technology is needed to support the operating systems on those devices?
  2. What contributes to, or takes away from the guest experience during their stay at a hotel? i.e. do guests report that their signal keeps dropping, or are there areas where there is poor connectivity?
  3. How, where and what do guests use their devices for when travelling? Is it to share photos, videos and experiences with friends, family and followers? Is it to conduct business meetings and give presentations? Or, is it to continue watching their favorite series at the end of a long day?

Having the right tech to support guest devices

Most guests on average travel with at least two devices: a mobile phone and either a tablet or laptop. They expect networks to be able to meet the demand for speed and bandwidth without glitches.

Many of the latest devices operate on Wi-Fi 6, some even support Wi-Fi EA and Wi-Fi 7. While they’re designed to be backwards compatible and operate on Wi-Fi 4 networks, they don’t like it. If devices see that the connection is weak, they’re constantly going to be searching for a better connection. If guests complain that a signal keeps dropping, this is a strong indication that this is a network problem.

In addition, Wi-Fi networks aren’t only catering to guest connectivity. Increasingly Internet of Things (IoT) devices are being added into networks for automation, monitoring, and to improve operational efficiencies in hotels. This means that there are more devices connected to networks adding to the broadband requirements for greater speeds and bandwidth.

Older Wi-Fi networks will struggle to keep up with these demands. This can negatively impact guest experiences and hinder operational efficiencies. Wi-Fi 7 is capable of 46 gigabits per second which is a significant leap up from the 1 gigabit speeds that Wi-Fi started off with.  As a rule of thumb, to support better guest experiences, network infrastructure needs to be within one or two generations of what the latest devices are operating on.

Gathering guest data to create better experiences

Wi-Fi 7 may enable better speeds, but data that indicates what matters most to guests. This data is gathered from where guests are interacting – be it in the boardroom giving a presentation, or in their rooms where they’re connecting to continue watching their favourite series.

Adding AI into the mix makes it possible to gather and process guest data in a way that makes it useful to hotel operators. And it’s not just AI that’s impacting guest experiences. Think of all the developments taking place with wearable tech. Ray-Ban Meta glasses and virtual reality games are technologies that will be influencing guest experiences in the near future. What network infrastructure will be needed to support it?

Tech Takeaway

The convergence of AI, Wi-Fi 7 and hospitality is an interesting one. Unlike corporate offices, hotels are spaces where people work, relax, are entertained. Hotels have to deliver on many expectations and this creates a more complex guest experience. One that needs future facing technology and network operations capable of delivering what guests want.

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