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Providing guests with reliable internet services is becoming one of the key challenges for hoteliers.

Statistics indicate that the volume of simultaneous connected devices, as well as the overall data transferred on Swisscom-managed hotel networks, has tripled in the last year. Swisscom is supporting hoteliers to adapt their networks and services accordingly.

Swisscom Hospitality currently connects 260,000 hotel rooms across North America, Europe and the Middle East to wireless internet, serving its guests customised connectivity solutions.

While the number of guest rooms connected to the Swisscom network has grown by 18% over the past 12 months, the total amount of data routed through Swisscom-managed networks has risen from about 302TB to about 1,020TB per month from April 2013 to April 2014 (an increase of 186%, when adjusted to a stable room-count).

The overall number of devices registered on the Swisscom Hospitality network has almost doubled in 12 months (+81%, adjusted) mostly due to the use of smart phones, which rose fourfold. The number of simultaneously connected devices on the Swisscom networks has surged from an average 28,900 a year ago to an average of 95,100 in April this year, peaking at around 132,000 concurrent users on weekdays in the late evening hours.

Swisscom Hospitality Services CEO Alfonso Tasso explained: "Guest demand for bandwidth has climbed sharply, driven by the proliferation of free-to-guest internet offerings."

"Hoteliers need a technology partner that can scale service accordingly. We’re also helping them to upgrade their networks so that they can take full advantage of our scalable services."

Swisscom Hospitality operates a distributed, cloud-based IT architecture that enables the centralised management of all customised connectivity solutions; the company currently delivers a very advanced internet access product (with more than 120 features): integration of the hotel’s property management system (PMS), tiered pricing, branded login portals, chain-driven loyalty schemes, guest promotions, etc. can all be supported across any number of hotels and their internet users.

All servers, storage and network equipment are hosted in the Swisscom Hospitality’s own private cloud in Switzerland. Moreover, the company offers consolidated network and product usage information per hotel location as well as chain-wide through its Hotelier Dashboard, giving hotel managers full visibility of the internet service running in their property.

Alfonso Tasso adds: "Internet access in hotels is no longer a ‘must have’ but a ‘must work’ service. When it works, it translates directly into guest satisfaction, customer loyalty and viral marketing. With our long experience in network design, deployment and management, we are hospitality’s partner of choice for the delivery of a reliable and differentiating guest internet experience."

Image: Guest data use has tripled in one year. Photo: courtesy of Swisscom Hospitality.