Demand drives tiered price packages for hotel WiFi

AT&T development expert recommends two-pronged internet model

AT&T vice president of wifi global business development Sandro Natale
AT&T vice president of wifi global business development Sandro Natale

The demand from hotel guests for expanding wireless internet services complimentary or at a nominal cost means hotels are tasked with investing in upgrading their networks while also delivering economically-friendly provisions.

AT&T vice president of wifi global business development Sandro Natale told Hotelier Middle East: “It’s a competitive set; 12 years ago people used to select hotels that had internet and about five years ago people used to select hotels that had the better internet, and people today are selecting hotels that have free internet. So the hotel industry is forced to go into that direction as people are seeing the internet like a utility”.

To meet this demand, AT&T developed a two-pronged model for internet delivery in the hospitality industry, whereby guests are able to receive lower speed, one-device connections at a lower-tier or can pay for more increased speed and multiple device connectivity in a higher tier.

Natale reported that revenues went up in hotels who piloted the programme, as more guests signed on to use the lower tier option, while those that opted for the expanded connection paid a significantly higher rate for the privilege.

According to the initial use of AT&T’s model, around 60% of guests used the lower tier and 40% were buying into the upper tier.

“That increased revenues and guest satisfaction of course went up because now you’re giving the guest the option of choice versus a service that is what it is,” said Natale. “So the revenue for internet went up and the guest satisfaction scores went up.”

Natale said AT&T planned to roll out this programme in global hotel brands across the Middle East and Asia.

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