Customer and employee expectations are constantly evolving with cultural trends, but the one need that holds steady is their desire for a seamless experience, free of hassle and full of optionality. This is where technology can help. And, with business travel rebounding and expecting a full recovery by 2024, hotels will need to invest in upgrading their technology experience to differentiate themselves against their competitive set as more guests return.
At the beginning of the year, Verizon expanded its 5G Ultra Wideband network using C-band (also known as midband) spectrum. Now available in over 1,700 cities around the country, 5G Ultra Wideband offers businesses an opportunity to harness the latest technology and applications that can take advantage of such a high-performance network.
Small and midsize businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, can benefit from 5G Ultra Wideband, allowing such businesses (like family-owned inns) to better compete with larger businesses and hotel chains. And because guests spend much of their time working in their rooms remotely, those in the hospitality industry can use 5G Ultra Wideband not only to improve their own operational efficiency, but to improve the guest experience overall. With less and less work being done in offices, the quality of the guest working experience will help drive repeat business like never before in the hospitality segment.
Drive Efficiency and Guest Delight
With the recent expansion of our 5G network, we also expanded the availability of our offerings for small and midsize businesses. 5G Business Internet offers an alternative to cable offerings by providing wireless broadband access to businesses. This is particularly important for the hospitality sector because it sits at the intersection of work and home. Uniquely positioned to support connectivity for both guests and employees, hospitality businesses are poised to see the benefits of 5G from all angles.
Benefits for Onsite Property Staff
Some of the greatest benefits of 5G connectivity are the higher bandwidth and increased speeds that it can provide, enabling applications to be built on top of the network. While both guests and employees can take advantage of faster speeds, the higher bandwidth allows hospitality employees to process larger amounts of data at a faster pace, therefore increasing efficiency for tedious, yet essential tasks.
For example, faster network speeds can enable front desk agents handling data management such as booking updates to access reservation details more quickly while on the phone with a customer. Similarly, marketing sales assistants updating website specs with promotional videos and high-resolution venue photos can use higher bandwidth to upload and download large media files.
Additionally, with employees craving adaptability, connectivity solutions can not only help to set the foundation to support remote work, but enable hotel staff to focus on high value customer interactions to improve the customer stay. Technologies like touchless entry systems, staffless kiosks, and work-from-home systems could be a game changer for hospitality businesses in today’s competitive hiring market. According to Verizon Business’ small business recovery survey, work flexibility is as important as health insurance: 74% said work flexibility can be as important as health insurance to attract and retain employees, regardless of physical location. It can make your business more appealing to prospective employees that value the flexibility of the new normal.
Benefits for enhanced guest experiences
For guests, faster speeds, lower latency and higher bandwidth go beyond helping to streamline monotonous processes to upleveling their stay and increasing comfort. Whether guests are on the clock attending a video call while working from the beach or off the clock streaming a movie in their room while a storm passes, 5G Ultra Wideband’s higher speeds and lower latency can allow you to video chat with fewer frozen faces and experience high-quality audio and video in HD.
The days of working from a local coffee shop on the road are less common now, with customers choosing to spend more time working on-property while traveling than they could pre-Covid-19. This means that the strength and security of your hotel network takes on even greater importance to guests because it now serves as the gatekeeper to their personal billing information as well as confidential business communications. 50% of our recent survey respondents are concerned with the endpoint vulnerabilities from working remotely posing a business risk. Because of this, giving customers an option beyond public WiFi, specifically 5G Ultra Wideband becomes a valuable alternative. This is because 5G Ultra Wideband is faster and safer than public WiFi based on a March 2021 Opensignal independent analysis. Advertising this usage of 5G Ultra Wideband provides the opportunity to hotels to demonstrate to customers the ease and safety of conducting business on-premise.
Investing in the future of work
Overall, businesses that survive and thrive must invest in the future of work and therefore technology. As companies continue to operate in a hybrid setting, connectivity will remain the thread that keeps our work and home worlds in synergy. Furthermore, as business travel slowly recovers, this digitization becomes a valuable business asset in ways previously not considered, and an integral part of that value is the quality of the network. The hospitality industry is just starting to see the benefits of a strong, secure and reliable network like 5G Ultra Wideband and the digital transformation will drive innovative change.
About the Author:
As Vice President of Verizon Business Markets, Michael Caralis leads two critical connectivity solutions for small and midsize business customers: network as a service (NaaS) and Fios for Business. He heads a team of 800+ professionals that partner with customers on their digital transformation journeys, provide innovative managed solutions for total communications, connectivity, collaboration and security.