When Your Guests Bring in More Devices to Your Hotel Network, Should You Be Concerned?
The Internet, Smart Devices and Your Hotel WiFi Network
Nokia launched the first Smartphone that can access the Internet in 1998 but it was only less than a decade later, after Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, when Smartphone users drastically changed the way we consume data. Similar Smartphones then emerged and so did cheaper, lower-end Smartphones to cater to a wider market segment. By 2011, the mobile data traffic was eight times the size of the entire global Internet in 2001. The iPad was then introduced in 2010 and added tablets to the ever-increasing list of devices that IT administrators will have to deal with in their network.
Two trends are happening right now: 1) The exponential surge in the number of mobile devices connected to WiFi networks and 2) the insatiable hunger of users for more data.
It was observed that the data usage patterns of these smart device users vary from notebook users. Mobile video traffic alone exceeded 50 percent of data traffic for the first time in 2011. In the US, the average Smartphone traffic reaches more than 500MB a month for Apple and Android devices and the average tablet customer is expected to consume four times more. It has inevitably become quite a challenge for IT administrators to extend network hospitality.
The need to stay connected has fuelled the demand for quality broadband access anytime and everywhere, especially in the hospitality industry. Hoteliers do their best to keep their guests satisfied, however, hotel guests these days will not settle for slow or barely satisfactory Internet connection. Hotel guests expect fast and secure2Internet access–and it has to be free 3 Regardless of the number of devices he or she brings into the network.
Today, the average user may carry (at one time) many devices: laptop, notebook, netbook, tablet, Smartphones, gaming devices and others. If the average hotel guest carries three Wi-Fi enabled devices (e.g. Smartphone, laptop and a tablet), the number of devices connected simultaneously with a full 800-room hotel could easily reach 2000 or more. The days of 1:1 ratio of people and wireless connections are over. With HSIA Gateway high concurrent device capacity features, hoteliers and service providers can easily manage their networks. As of June 2012, it can support up to 20000 concurrent devices.
While most hoteliers provide complimentary Internet access, they also need to make sure that everyone gets a fair share of the bandwidth. Some hoteliers address this by offering Internet access on premium and guaranteed bandwidth tiers at a reasonable price. How can hoteliers ensure that their VIPs and premium-paying customers get what they pay for? HSIA Gateway Multi-tier QoS add-on module lets the hoteliers do this easily. The HSIA Gatewaycan also manage P2P traffic, which is usually the reason why networks bog down, and do application-based traffic shaping. Another essential thing to note is that the HSIA Gateway provides seamless MAC-based re-login for smart devices. This is an important mobile device support that only the HSIA Gateway can provide. With this built-in HSIA Gateway feature, the network remembers mobile devices so that when you are in the network, you are automatically and safely reconnected without the hassle of logging in again and again.
Building a robust network that can bear BYOD
Having more devices in your network should not be a huge concern anymore if you are using the INFOCOMM’s HSIA Gateway.
ANTlabs, the maker of the HSIA Gateway, has 12 years and counting of excellent experience in the hospitality industry and working with mobile network operators (MNOs) in providing networking solutions. Through more than a decade of strong R&D and innovation, the HSIA Gateway has enabled hoteliers, telephone companies and internet service providers worldwide to maximize and monetize Internet bandwidth, while easily monitoring and managing their networks. ANTlabs’ experience in supporting mobile devices places the HSIA Gateway at an advantage over other traditional hotel/corporate gateways in the market today.
Compared to other gateways that are designed to be network-centric, the HSIA Gateway is designed with the user in mind: zero configuration, location-based network access control and centralized network policy management. As a way of adapting to these ever-changing times, ANTlabs continues to roll out new features, such as mobile device support and high concurrent device capacity, while helping hoteliers and service providers in reducing support calls.
HSIA Gateway makes it easy for operators to set up various complex business requirements and policies using the GUI without sacrificing security or quality. In addition, solving user issues is more manageable with the HSIA Gateway comprehensive troubleshooting and reporting tools.
With the HSIA Gateway, hoteliers and service providers can easily provide secure and good quality broadband access to guests, no matter what or how many smart devices they bring in to the network.