Unlocking Better Coverage: The Essentials of Cellular EnhancementRead Story
by Alexander Goge
“The cell service really sucks in here.” Seven words no hotel GM wants to hear – yet many hear it from guests and employees on a regular basis. Worse, many see this sentiment expressed in online reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Some of these sites even have categories such as ‘best hotels with cell phone reception.’ Why is this so important? Because good cellphone reception is a BIG consumer concern.
Having good cellular service is a critical component of the overall guestexperience at hotels, with consumers expecting ubiquitous connectivity wherever they go. Wireless is now known as the fourth utility. And just like guests won’t stay in a hotel with no electricity or running water, in today’s market, they won’t stay in a hotel without good cell service.
Hospitality Technology agrees, “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 gain- ing keyless entry to their rooms. Without a strong cellular and data signal in your hotel, that process becomes moredifficult.”
A landmark survey found that 54 percent of affluent adults aged 35-54 might not re-book at a hotel where cell phone reception was poor. Yet the industry as a whole remains behind the technology curve. When it comes to how a hotel is perceived, nothing can destroy a reputation like poor cellphone coverage. But many hotel owners and operators still aren’t upgrading the quality and availability of their cell phone signals. Why?
WHY HOTELS AVOID INVESTING IN CELL SERVICE
1. Many hotel operators think providing WiFi is enough. Here’s why it’s not:
“Just like guests won’t stay in a hotel with no electricity or running water, in today’s market, they won’t stay in a hotel without good cell phone service.”
2. Some hotels want to pass responsibility back to the wireless carriers but this doesn’t work for most:
3. Some hotel operators think wireless upgrades will be too expensive but this is not necessarily the case.
SOLUTIONS TO CELL COVERAGE ISSUES
Several possible answers exist for poor cell phone connectivity. What will work for one property, however, may not be the best for another. Choosing the right system for your hotel or resort can be a confusing and daunting process without expert advice.
Illuminati Labs will help you assess the property’s size and extent of coverage needed, determine a sensible budget, clarify all of the options for enhancing your property’s cell phone coverage and then install the system in an aesthetically pleasing way with minimal disturbance to guests. We will analyze and measure your current reception from every angle, review your needs and help you get the most boost for your buck. Here is a general overview of themost common solutions:
1. At the limited-coverage end of the solution scale are small cells:
2. At the other end, is a passive cellular repeater system, also known as a passive distributed antenna system (DAS): *SEE brief “DAS 101 article”
Hotels and resorts that can boast outstanding cell phone reception today have an edge over rivals that cannot offer the same level of service. Guests have many lodging choices, and they are willing to use social media to broadcast their opinions about a hotel’s voice and data service. An Illuminati Labs cellular repeater system can help you create happier guests.