Keeping Pace with Technology
There was a time when hotel guests would experience technology beyond what most had at home. Guests would gasp at being able to watch movies “on-demand” and have in-room internet connectivity that made their dial up modem seem slow!
Times have changed and the sheer amount of technological innovations available for a home user is now leagues above what the vast majority of hoteliers can provide. What hotels can provide however, is an infrastructure that enables guests to bring their own technology to the hotel bedroom.
Having a well planned, installed, maintained and secure wireless network utilising technology from market leading manufacturers is critical to provide this core foundation.
Personal Area Network
Our EVOLUTION PAN or Personal Area Network service and has been designed to replicate as closely as possible a home WiFi service. Most people are now familiar with creating their own WiFi “name” (SSID) and password (PSK) for their home network. PAN lets guests simply replicate that environment in their hotel room and thus use their own technology to create that “at home” experience.
If the hotel has installed devices such as Apple TV in the room then these can seamlessly become available to the guest as part of their network without the need for them to enter any personal information on the in-room Apple TV box or do any further set up.
Each guest’s PAN details are stored in their global guest profile, when combined with PMS integration, PAN can be automatically activated or deactivated when a guest checks-in or checks-out.
Room Network Creation
Integration with the PMS means a guests PAN can be linked to their unique room VLAN, allowing communication with all devices in this VLAN. In the example above the hotel provided an Apple TV for the guests to use, however the technology is not limited to just an Apple TV. If available, guests can connect to another IOS device, Chromecast dongle or even a speaker system.
PAN can also be used to allow guest on- boarding using 802.1x instead of a separate SSID in the room. 802.1x has the advantage that the guest can use their PAN anywhere in the hotel, whilst keeping the device-to-device communication in their personal VLAN.
PAN functionality can be enabled in the EVOLUTION Gateway service tier, this gives hoteliers the flexibility to provide PAN functionality to everybody or only to a certain group of users e.g. Loyalty members or even to provide the service as a paid upgrade or as an incentive for completing a survey.
The service can be enabled for any guest not just a guest staying in the hotel. For example, guests authenticated using social authentication can also make use of PAN technology. In this case the PAN is created for a configurable time on the AP (access point) they are currently connected to.
The same PAN technology is available for conference room management. The organiser of the conference has the ability to set up the conference network directly from the EVOLUTION Gateway management portal without involvement of the on-premises IT department.
The guest connects to the hotel’s WiFi “e.g. Hotel Guest”. This network has a VLAN (e.g. 777) with Client Isolation enabled meaning that each device can access the internet (once authenticated) but is isolated from all other devices on the network.
The guests PAN profile roams with them to any other associated hotels with EVOLUTION Gateway, negating the need to enter their SSID or PSK again. Guests are simply greeted with a welcome back message and if they would like to re-enable their personal WiFi network again.
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