When people hear the term “5G,” it often brings to mind vague notions of something to do with cellular technology. But what is 5G, exactly? And how can 5G create new competitive advantages within the hospitality industry?
What is 5G?
5G is an abbreviation for a fifth generation mobile network, and is an up-and-coming network standard designed to connect everything that relies on wireless technology, from devices to systems to machines. 5G is a lightning-fast data transmission speed that minimizes latency, or the delay that happens before data transfer. With 5G, data is transmitted at a speed of 1 GBps or faster with less than 1 ms latency. 5G also significantly increases bandwidth, enabling up to 500x more devices to be on a network at a time.
How can 5G benefit hotels?
As a whole, the hotel industry has just begun upgrading to 5G, but the need for 5G speed and performance is without question. In a hotel, nothing is more frustrating than checking into your room, getting on your device to work or make a phone call, only to realize that you have no cell signal or connection.
“I often find myself traveling for work, and even in prominent hotels, I struggle to connect to Wi-Fi or to get any kind of cell signal,” said Business Consultant Nathan Anderson. “There have been times when it’s been so bad that I’ve had to update my out-of-office letting people know I can’t see their messages or get back to them until I’m back in town. It’s so frustrating because I’m staying in the hotel to get business done, and I’m unable to do so because of a poor connection.”
Implementing 5G in hotels easily contributes to a better guest experience. With 5G, guests have excellent cell signal and hotspot capabilities, without any issue of network delay or dropped calls. With the exponential growth of video conferencing that has happened since the onset of COVID-19, 5G eliminates the typical problems of meetings that freeze up or delay.
“There have been several times on business trips that I’ve had to leave my hotel room and go to the lobby where there’s a decent signal, to get my work done,” said Jon Mykrantz, vice president of enterprise sales for Wilson Electronics. “In a hotel with 5G, that would not be the case. Guests could get their work done efficiently, all within the comfort of their hotel rooms.”
Of course, a better guest experience translates into improved customer ratings and repeat customers, increasing customer loyalty. But 5G offers the hotel industry more than an improved guest experience, especially when paired with artificial intelligence.
Hotels that have already implemented 5G are able to streamline operations with rapid communication between different systems. They offer automated check-in and check-out procedures, which cuts labor costs and eliminates lines that are irritating for guests. With 5G, all systems are interconnected and communicate seamlessly and in real-time.
How can 5G benefit restaurants?
Within the restaurant industry, 2020 was a pivotal year, turning the entire industry on its head as restaurants scrambled to make sales amidst COVID-19. According to market research firm Euromonitor, meal delivery orders increased by 150 percent from 2019 to 2020, forcing restaurants to quickly implement delivery order systems for survival. For restaurants with 5G, receiving delivery orders, as well as updating menus and social media accounts, became easy and instantaneous.
One prime example of a restaurant carving a niche for itself in the technology space is Starbucks. In addition to the free Wi-Fi, the brand’s app allows customers to place remote orders from anywhere and directs them to the nearest location. A restaurant that offers 5G speeds will delight customers and could easily become a competitive advantage.
Again, in the restaurant industry, 5G and AI would work closely together, resulting in innovations like automated order fulfillment and contactless delivery services. All systems used in restaurants - from ordering to fulfillment to receiving - can work together on a cloud-based, cellular-connected system, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jon Mykrantz is the Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Wilson Electronics, the country’s leading manufacturer of cellular signal amplification technology. He is responsible for the continued growth and success of WilsonPro’s enterprise offerings at an executive level. He is key in refining the company’s global go-to-market strategy and messaging, driving WilsonPro’s enterprise roadmap, and assisting in building and strengthening carrier relationships.