Five Common Cellular Misconceptions

Hotel IT departments are getting a lot of attention this year.  According a recent industry study from Hospitality Technology magazine, hotels plan to spend more money on technology in 2017 than in previous years; hoteliers report that 21% of their IT budgets will be spent on improving their networks and connectivity, with 47% of hotels focused on upgrading their guest WiFi. While ongoing IT investment is important to maintaining guest satisfaction and loyalty, it is also important for hotels to understand the difference between WiFi and Cellular. Spending money on WiFi improvements does not necessarily mean that guests will be able to use their many mobile devices with better speed or efficiency, says RoamBOOST. To help hoteliers understand the differences, RoamBOOST has identified five common cellular misconceptions.
1. The WiFi and Cellular Network are the Same
False. When guests and staff rely solely on the hotel’s WiFi to power all of their mobile devices and applications for operations efficiencies, ordering, streaming, purchasing, socially connecting etc., it’s going to quickly drain the hotel connectivity speeds. Instead of providing High-Speed Internet Access, the hotel is offering low-speed to no-speed service. Hotels looking to invest in a new WiFi infrastructure to better attract mobile-dependent guests should investigate re-routing traffic away from WiFi and onto a 3G or 4G/LTE data and voice network (in other words – a cellular network). To get guests to stop gobbling up bandwidth, the hotel must balance WiFi and cellular. One way to strike that balance is by installing a scalable DAS.
2. Guests Prefer a Landline vs. a Cell Phone to Dial 911
False. According to, 70% of 911 calls today are taking place over the cellular network, and 64% of 911 calls are placed indoors. With a mobile device, a call can be placed from virtually any location or position in a room rather than needing to be in close proximity to a landline. In this world of connectivity, cellular is simply more convenient. Therefore, there is no better reason to ensure that a hotel has a strong cellular network by implementing a DAS.
3. Great Cell Coverage Yesterday Means Good Cell Coverage Today
False. Just because a hotel invested in a cellular network in the past doesn’t mean the coverage is still viable today. In the time since the investment trees could have grown, new buildings could have been erected, or a recent renovation may have added reflective glass to the hotel’s exterior, etc. Each of these things can impede a cell signal. With a modular DAS in place, hotels can adjust for their needs inside by adding a carrier, expanding to other areas of the building or moving donor antenna locations to accommodate for changes outside.
4. DAS Providers are One Size Fits All
False. When it comes to DAS, one size never fits all.
5. The DAS is Automatically Fire/Life Safety Code Compliant
False. In the case of an emergency, it is crucial that all hotels support radio communications for first responders, such as the police and fire department. The International Fire Code requires full indoor coverage for public safety in all buildings, new or existing, and FCC regulations require commercial buildings to reduce interference of Radio Frequency signals to ensure open channel communications in public safety situations. A DAS provider needs to supplement its infrastructure with code-compliant public safety wireless solutions to help the hotel meet rigorous municipal requirements for building occupancy. In certain juristictions, cellular and public safety can be run over the same infrastructure, whereas others require parallel networks. Adding the local spectrum repeater equipment can help make it possible for first responders and guests to have clear communications each time, every time. 
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