Monday, February 13, 2012

Hotel Wi-Fi - Great Differentiated Service

Having just come back from a week's holiday, I'd like to praise the Wi-Fi service offered by the hotel and wish and hope that others would do the same.

Firstly, the hotel is situated in around 12 hectares (20 acres, I think) of land with buildings scattered around, so I can imagine that coverage is tricky, but though they didn't guarantee coverage in every room, it worked everywhere I needed it.  I could see a range of external access points and they had the standard Wi-Fi logo on them, so anyone without coverage would know where to walk to get closer to an AP.  Not sure which vendor provided the APs, though I see that Ruckus Wireless seems to have a huge amount of the hospitality market with their Smart Wi-Fi providing greater distance and steering around obstacles, so perhaps it is them.

Then, each AP was advertising two different networks - a free one and a paid-for option.

The free network had limited access; no VPNs allowed and content filtering with various forms of adult content blocked, no streaming content from YouTube or even streaming content on other web sites, no downloading of applications from various app stores, shareware sites blocked etc. and a statement that it was a best efforts service, so presumably some QoS service that gave the paid-for service higher priority.

The paid-for service had a flat-fee of around $50USD a week, then you get open access, can use VPNs, watch streams and QoS priority.

I think this is great mix, it allows the customer to choose the service that they want and whether to pay for it.  Even the free service allowed me to catch up on news, Twitter, pick up my email and I thought to myself that I can wait for the new version of an app. and download it back at home.

All in all, I wish every hotel/airport/station would follow the same path.

And as I was praising their service, I'll give them a little plug - food and service was great too so if you are ever in Mauritius....

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