Flawless Cellular Connectivity Is Key to Five-Star Hotel Service

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Flawless Cellular Connectivity Is Key to Five-Star Hotel Service

07/12/2017
When you consider the tools and services you need in order to deliver the highest quality service in your hotel, what do you think of? Friendly and efficient staff? Certainly. Comfortable bedding? Absolutely. What about cellular connectivity?
 
It’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but it should be. Travelers increasingly rely on their cell phones for both business and personal use. In-room landline telephone use is a thing of the past.
 
Many hotel chains are even taking cell-phone use to the next level. Both Hilton and Starwood hotels offer digital keyless check-in and entry through their cell phone apps. Loyal customers can now avoid that annoying long check-in line altogether by simply opening their hotel’s app and gaining keyless entry to their rooms.
 
Without a strong cellular and data signal in your hotel, that process becomes a little more difficult, requiring guests to log in to the hotel’s Wi-Fi network in order to gain access. And what happens once guests are in their rooms? A weak cellular signal means business travelers cannot connect with their colleagues and clients on their cell phones. That’s not to mention the number of internal services that rely on cell phones like administration and housekeeping.
 
If you provide a Wi-Fi connection in your hotel, you might think you’re all set. But, the reality is: you also need a strong cellular and data signal to ensure every hotel guest can connect on their terms. Both cellular data connections and Wi-Fi signal create the connectivity needed to access apps and make calls, but reliable cellular signal cuts out the extra steps of a Wi-Fi connection.
 
As a hotel owner or IT manager, installing a passive distributed antenna system (DAS), also known as a cell phone signal booster system, can help maximize your cellular signal and all but eliminate signal strength problems. This article from WilsonPro will discuss why hotels need both strong cell signals as well as strong Wi-Fi signals.
 
Why you need strong cell signal and Wi-Fi
 
First, let’s look at why cellular signal and Wi-Fi isn’t an either-or choice.
 
Yes, Wi-Fi offers a strong and reliable connectivity solution, but it’s not always the best way for your hotel guests to connect. Most, if not all, hotel Wi-Fi networks require guests to open the Wi-Fi settings on their phone, log in, and accept the terms and conditions of the service. Some hotels guests complete the process without a second thought. Others don’t bother due to privacy concerns. Additionally, when it comes to making a phone call, very few hotel guests enable the Wi-Fi calling capability on their phones in order to make calls over the Wi-Fi network.
 
A cellular connection, on the other hand, only requires guests to use their network’s data plan, which provides quick and easy access to apps without the additional steps of Wi-Fi.
 
Connecting the hotel nerve center with a passive DAS
 
Providing strong connectivity for guests is a priority for most high-quality hotels, but don’t overlook the need for your in-house team to connect with one another to ensure the efficient delivery of hotel services.
 
Take the Chicago Oak Brook Marriott, for example. Located in Oak Brook, Illinois, 18 miles west of downtown Chicago, this hotel is popular with business and leisure travelers alike. Unfortunately, the hotel’s cellular connectivity was below par, especially on the basement and first-floor levels of the hotel. That was a problem for a number of reasons. Firstly, the hotel’s conference and event spaces are located on the first floor. Secondly, the hotel’s back-of-house operations are located in the basement, where guest requests, housekeeping, and engineering are coordinated.
 
Poor cellular connectivity simply wasn’t an option for the hotel, so management called in connectivity experts to devise a solution.
 
In previous years, the hotel might have been required to make a significant investment in active DAS to solve its connectivity problems. These large-scale infrastructure solutions are typically found in big stadiums and arenas. While active DAS solves many connectivity problems, it does so at significant expense, and commonly only boosts a single carrier’s signal.
 
Instead, the hotel decided to implement a passive DAS system. Rather than creating their own cellular signal, passive DAS capture existing signals from surrounding cell towers using rooftop donor antennas, amplify the weak signal, and then distribute the boosted signal inside the building or complex.
 
This cost- and time-effective solution can be up and running in a matter of days at a fraction of the cost of an active DAS. What’s more, passive DAS are carrier agnostic. Whether your guests or staff use major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, or smaller regional carriers, they get the same amplified signal.
 
“Once we installed the amplifiers and got the system up and running, they had immediate coverage and they’ve had it since,” said Mark Semp, certified project manager at Konecta USA, who worked on the project. “At that point they never dropped a call again.”
 
That’s just one success story, but it’s indicative of the impact a strong cellular signal generated by a passive DAS can have on hotel operations. Without it, the hotel couldn’t deliver high levels of customer service.
 
As a hotel manager, delivering excellent service is a top priority, and modern hotel guests like yours demand reliable cell and data coverage. Enhancing your hotel’s cellular signal with cell phone signal boosters helps increase efficiency and enhance your customer service.