iBAHN European Forum Roadshows reveal hotelier connectivity concerns
The iBAHN forums were developed to lead the debate with hoteliers on the future direction of digital information and in-room entertainment services, how this impacts revenue and guest satisfaction and how hoteliers can engage with their guests to satisfy increasing technology demands.
During the open debate section of the events, a number of themes were repeated across the territories. The most popular of these included questions such as; 'how will hotel data lines cope with the increasing bandwidth demands?', and one of the most hotly debated topics, 'should Internet access be given away for free?'
iBAHN believes that increasing demands on data lines will become one of the biggest issues that hotels face in servicing guest demand for Internet access. iBAHN's own network now carries 6 petabytes of traffic in comparison to only 1.8 petabytes in 2007, which demonstrates the growth in traffic and usage. New technology that allows several data lines to be bonded together can assist hotels, by offering a cost-effective but temporary solution. However, the key in the long term is to invest in a managed network capable of prioritising traffic, with monitored bandwidth consumption, which resolves issues quickly and effectively.
As for the much-debated question of 'should Internet access be free?' the answer is inextricably linked to the size of the hotel's data line, as well as the range of features provided on the network such as security, VPN compatibility and support, all of which are highly valued by business travellers. In essence, hotels that have been unwilling to invest in their infrastructure, but offer free access, usually provide a reduced customer experience as heavy usage over a low bandwidth data line results in poor levels of connectivity. A pricing structure geared to application usage and data consumption is the most sensible way of funding higher quality access. In contrast, where hotels have invested in high capacity data lines, free Internet access is a service that can be offered to guests with reduced side effects on the network.
For further information or to discuss these points further please visit www.ibahnemea.com
iBAHN's MD EMEA Graeme Powell, comments: "The iBAHN Forums gave us the chance to have an open dialogue with our customers about the issues they are facing in relation to digital entertainment and internet solutions. We received a great response, and heard first hand from hoteliers who are facing a huge surge in demand for services that many of their guests already experience at home and now expect in their hotel. This demand combined with our explanation of the real opportunity to build new revenue streams has helped hoteliers to fully appreciate that the right technology provision is critical to future success."
iBAHN is the only global provider of digital entertainment and Internet solutions for the hospitality and meeting industries. Monthly, more than 1.7 million travellers and meeting attendees rely on iBAHN to increase productivity with secure high-speed Internet access options in more than 2,500 hotels, conference centres and meeting spaces in 33 countries worldwide across six continents. iBAHN's digital entertainment offering, ETVi, offers hotel guests leading digital video and entertainment services. Operating one of the largest MPLS networks in the industry, the company provides technology solutions to more than 50,000 events annually, ranging from small group meetings to major industry conferences, while serving more than a third of Fortune 100 corporations. For more information, please visit www.ibahn.com or www.ibahnemea.com