When it comes to guest-facing technology, research shows that 42% of hoteliers are planning to upgrade their guest WiFi in 2019. Adding more broadband is a smart move considering that 41% of hotels will add smart TVs or upgrade their streaming capabilities this year, while others are making investments in guest-facing applications such as mobile payments, instant messaging, tablets at the front desk and in rooms, chatbots and even voice-enabled technologies.
The Hilton Wilmington/Christiana, owned and operated by Meyer Jabara Hotels, is leading the Northern Delaware lodging market in broadband capacity thanks to a recent investment in its infrastructure and high-speed Internet offering that will address guest and meeting planner needs 10 years into the future.
“Today, the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana is a business class hotel that can provide an experience to any user here who requires best-in-class technology,” said General Manager Brad Wenger. “In 2017, we transformed this property with a top to bottom renovation, and we added a new gastropub that really put us on the map. This recent technology investment was the last piece we needed to give travelers the tools they demand to be their best.”
Visitors now have five times the Internet speed they had previously. “Before we operated with a 100-megabyte pipe and today we’re offering 500 mgs (300 mgs more than is required by Hilton), and our infrastructure backbone has been increased 10 fold, from one gigabyte of bandwidth to 10 gigs of throughput,” said Wenger.
“That means we can support the data transmission needs of our staff, guests and meeting planners with plenty of room to spare. We have such an overcapacity of flexible broadband that the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana will be positioned to accommodate any technology trend that arises in this decade and the next.”
The goal of Meyer Jabara Hotels is to prepare each property for the smart room of the future. Through a partnership with Safety NetAccess, based Needham, Massachusetts, the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana is meeting Hilton’s mandate to place all technology that is controlling the room behind the television.
“Soon Hilton will require the entire hotel guestroom to be controlled by the TV, including lights, thermostats, drapes, minibar systems, VOIP phones and other voice technologies,” Wenger said. “Hilton guests can also use the TV to stream content from their personal mobile devices, like their smartphone or tablet. In this way, over-the-top content (such as Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and others) will require a high-speed Internet connection. This infrastructure investment will support all connectivity needs of guests while they are in their rooms, and it will extend beyond those four walls to public areas, outdoor spaces and especially the meetings environment.”
Along with the new infrastructure, the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana received upgraded fire wall capabilities. Meeting planners can rest easy knowing that content they are streaming over the hotel’s Internet channels will receive the highest levels of encryption. Cyber security is a top priority for Meyer Jabara Hotels, and so too is protecting guests’ personally identifiable information.
“Prior to this upgrade, someone from IT was always troubleshooting a problem with connectivity,” Wenger said. “We lost an important account last year due to the Internet just limping along. Thanks to this upgrade, the business we lost is back, and our renewed relationship is off to a great start.”
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