The Potential of CBRS to Transform Hotel Operations and the Guest Experience
Imagine a bustling hotel full of business travelers immersed in laptops, children streaming video to tablets and smartphones everywhere. Front desk and security staff are using radios, smartphones and tablets to check in guests, arrange transportation and monitor security footage. Housekeeping and maintenance staff swiftly receive and respond to tickets. Everywhere you look wireless entertainment, communication and collaboration across the property is seamless, uninterrupted and fast. Welcome to Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS).
CBRS operates on a 150 MHz slice of the 3.5 GHz radio spectrum that was formerly allocated to little-used U.S. government satellite and radar systems. Established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), CBRS is managed and licensed to users through a service called Spectrum Allocation System (SAS), which provides exclusive access to spectrum, without requiring a license application to the FCC.
CBRS has the potential to vastly improve operations across many commercial sectors, but hospitality offers one of the most immediate and compelling use cases. To deliver the safe, seamless and streamlined experiences that guests desire, hospitality organizations must ensure employees remain connected and informed.
Today’s guests have a lot of choices, and one in three consumers say they will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience, according to research from PwC. Further, guests expect their wireless connectivity to be fast and reliable, and hotels understand that many will not return to a property if they had a bad experience with the wireless network. CBRS gives hotels a dedicated enterprise network that makes it easier for staff to stay connected, coordinated and share rich data, while freeing up WiFi bandwidth for guests.
Improved Video Monitoring and Extended Coverage for Operational Staff
Demand for improved security, especially video, is increasing. A 2019 Motorola Solutions survey found 75% of hospitality employees use video security at work, and the industry is leveraging the power of video to help protect property, staff and guests. When paired with a video security solution, a CBRS network not only increases a hotel’s video and analytics capabilities, but also extends coverage to outdoor areas, such as parking lots and pools, without requiring additional fiber or wires, which can be costly and disruptive.
Extending coverage allows hotels to enjoy additional opportunities for point of sale interactions and monitoring in places they didn’t have coverage before. For example, hotel staff can deliver food to a guest at the pool and complete the transaction without ever leaving the pool area.
Video security, analytics and alerts can help ensure compliance with company policies and regulations, prevent incidents and protect against liability. Further, it can help to measure guest behaviors, such as dwell time and traffic patterns, which allow an organization to dispatch the right resources at the right moment, to ensure a safe and satisfying guest experience.
Seamless Communication and Data Capabilities for Housekeeping and Maintenance Staff
Housekeeping and maintenance staff often rely on work orders that come through on a wireless ticket system that can be subject to high traffic volumes and slower speeds because it operates over WiFi. This means delayed alerts to staff, growing task lists and prolonged wait times for guests waiting to check in and go about their days. By using a CBRS network, staff will have the advantage of faster communications, whether they are receiving or sending data.
Housekeepers now have the ability to document damage to furniture or rooms and report it back to management. With a CBRS network, staff can use videos or photos to better document situations as they occur. Hotel maintenance can use video and IoT sensor technology to monitor offsite HVAC equipment and get ahead of future breakdowns or system failures. In instances where there are medical emergencies or security threats, security and medical staff can communicate with one another without delays or dead zones and record incidents in real-time.
Capacity to Support Future Data Needs
As guest demands and expectations increase, hotel operations and technology must evolve to meet them, which often means greater integration of systems and processes. Four out of five hoteliers have experienced poor signal coverage in the past 12 months, according to Hotel Internet Services. As the hospitality industry looks toward the future of deploying more technology, they need a network that can sufficiently support different functionalities like video, analytics and communications. In 2019, 26.66 billion IoT devices were active and the number continues to climb. Using a CBRS network can deliver universal connectivity and access to intelligent resources. A shared platform breaks down barriers and empowers staff to deliver the informed, seamless guest experiences that keep customers coming back, time and time again.