- Managed WiFi refers to a cloud-based network controlled by a third-party, capable of handling multiple devices simultaneously.
- Switching to managed WiFi can lower costs, enhance reliability, improve safety and security, provide easy scalability, and allow advanced functionalities.
- Managed WiFi vendors offer additional features such as reporting and monitoring, and upgraded functionality for variable speed connections.
- Potential drawbacks of managed WiFi can include loss of control over the WiFi connection, leading to third-party dependency for troubleshooting and security.
- Notable providers of managed WiFi services include Cox Business, Comcast Business, Spectrum Enterprise, and Deep Blue Communications.
What is Managed WiFi, Really?
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, managed WiFi might seem like a buzzword. But in essence, it’s a cloud-based network controlled by a third-party, capable of serving numerous devices simultaneously. The advantage is that the external party takes responsibility for maintenance, troubleshooting, security, and general upkeep of the WiFi service. This offloads a significant burden from the in-house IT team.
The alternative to managed WiFi is unmanaged WiFi, which requires on-site setup and management. While suitable for a few devices, unmanaged WiFi might struggle under the load of dozens or even hundreds of devices—a common scenario in hotels.
Digging Deeper: The Benefits of Managed WiFi
At a surface level, managed WiFi might not seem radically different from its unmanaged counterpart. However, a deeper look reveals several compelling advantages that make it an attractive choice for hotels of various sizes. Here are some of the key benefits hotels can enjoy when they switch to managed WiFi:
- Lower Costs: While the upfront cost for managed WiFi might be higher, the cost-effectiveness becomes apparent when considering the time your IT team spends on maintaining the WiFi connection.
- Reliability: With a third-party provider in charge of your WiFi, you can depend on their expertise for keeping the service running smoothly and addressing any issues promptly.
- Safety and Security: Managed WiFi companies use the latest technology to ensure that their connections are secure. With them in charge, you won’t have to worry about continually updating your infrastructure for security.
- Easy Scalability: Managed WiFi can grow along with your business. You can easily upgrade your connection or add new access points whenever necessary.
- Enhanced Functionality: Managed WiFi providers often offer additional features such as the ability to provide variable speed connections for different users.
Considering the Drawbacks of Managed WiFi
Despite these compelling benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides. The most significant of these is the loss of control over your WiFi connection. With managed WiFi, your on-site IT team might feel their hands are tied when it comes to troubleshooting, potentially leading to increased reliance on third-party support.
Navigating the Provider Landscape: Best Managed WiFi Providers
Once you’ve decided to adopt managed WiFi for your hotel, it’s crucial to find the right provider. This will ensure you get the most value and best fit for your specific needs. Here are some top players in the field:
- Cox Business: Offering a customizable guest-facing landing page and a 24/7 support team, Cox tailors their managed WiFi services to hotels of all sizes.
- Comcast Business: Serving a variety of hospitality businesses, Comcast provides separate networks for employees and guests, managed security services, and an analytics suite.
- Spectrum Enterprise: Alongside managed WiFi, Spectrum also provides TV and phone services. They offer 24/7 support and allow customization of the guest landing page.
- Deep Blue Communications: Certified by several leading hotel chains, Deep Blue offers hotel-specific features such as PMS integration and multi-device compatibility.
Choosing the right managed WiFi provider can significantly improve your hotel’s connectivity, boosting guest review scores and employee efficiency, ultimately leading to an enhanced experience for all.