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  • iPads Cause Issues For Wi-Fi In Hotels


    Currently the hotel industry is facing a large issue due to the iPad according to a report from the New York Times. For those who travel often, the iPad is usually top on the list for must-have gadgets while on the go. With many travelers walking around with iPads, Wi-Fi internet connection is being heavily used and therefore causing problems. Hotel companies are finding it increasingly difficult to provide reliable internet service for their visitors.

    Generally, most of these iPad owners walk around and want the ability to stream video, browse the internet, and work remotely from their hotel room – all of which cause a large bandwidth overload. Hotel bandwidth consumption has increased threefold in the past year alone according to David W. Garrison, the CEO of iBAHN. The increase consumption of bandwidth can be accommodated by dedicated internet service providers but many hotels have internet connections that are already slow and with the increase in consumption, their networks are easily overloaded.

    What makes this an even larger issue is that this is only the beginning of the iPad problems for hotels. According to the Gartner Group, 11 million iPads were sold in the last three months. It is expected that the number of iPads in circulation will increase to nearly 100 million by the end of 2012. As of right now, it seems that hotel owners will have to decide whether they want to nix improving the speeds, offering very slow internet or possibly upgrade their bandwidth and introduce a tiered service for their customers. The thought of paying a meter-based fee would probably upset many customers but the thought of having increasingly slower internet speed sounds worse. As of right now, according to Garrison, only 10% to 15% of hotels offer tiered service, it seems like it is finally time for the remaining majority to hop on the bandwagon and finally keep customers happy.

    I haven’t been involved in this dilemma but I can easily see where it would be a problem. It provides a sense of relief that I have a jailbroken device and am grandfathered into AT&T’s unlimited data plan. For the people who travel often, there seem to be a few alternatives including the possibility of getting a tethering plan, using apps such as My Wi, or even purchasing a mobile hotspot. I can also see how for the average consumer, some of these features may be too overwhelming for them and just purchasing internet from the hotel is easier instead, thus being part of the dilemma.

    Have you ever been stuck using crappy hotel internet service? If so, how did you manage? Share any thoughts and comments below!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPads Cause Issues For Wi-Fi In Hotels started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. Raybeast's Avatar
      Raybeast -
      Offer a better wifi? Seriously hotels should have at least a 50 mps speed available.
    1. Victor_inox's Avatar
      Victor_inox -
      Hotels will invest in faster internet, it`s cheaper then account management for each guest. Or they will limit bans with per connection, they has been doing it for years.No one will pay for wi-fi in hotel, unless it`s included in price.
    1. emerica6708's Avatar
      emerica6708 -
      I'm sure iPads aren't helping here, but it seems it's not the iPads fault. Everyone is streaming videos now, on their computers phones and tablets. If people are trying to blame iPads I think they should think twice, if there were no iPads they would be having the same problem just with computers.
    1. digzz's Avatar
      digzz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Victor_inox View Post
      Hotels will invest in faster internet, it`s cheaper then account management for each guest. Or they will limit bans with per connection, they has been doing it for years.No one will pay for wi-fi in hotel, unless it`s included in price.
      U would be Surprised here in the UK ....As the No1. Hotel Which is Premier Inn Charges Like £5 an hour for WIFI ...
    1. MXCO's Avatar
      MXCO -
      Why don't ppl get clearwire hotspot? Unlimited 4G data for $20 a month, much cheaper then what you pay for AT&T n Verizon unlimited data plan and faster depending where ur at. It's what i did, i was paying $30 for unlimited data with AT&T but the location where i live AT&T 3G sucked so i got clearwire n i can carry it any where
    1. Lombardo Joe's Avatar
      Lombardo Joe -
      Quote Originally Posted by MXCO View Post
      Why don't ppl get clearwire hotspot? Unlimited 4G data for $20 a month, much cheaper then what you pay for AT&T n Verizon unlimited data plan and faster depending where ur at. It's what i did, i was paying $30 for unlimited data with AT&T but the location where i live AT&T 3G sucked so i got clearwire n i can carry it any where
      It's still highly unavailable in many areas.

      I think the real answer is to just grow more Internet. If we planted more Internet seeds, there'd be enough Internet for everyone!
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Here in the U.S., I have noticed that the hotels that provide free internet access tend to have the best connections. The ones that charge tend to have the slowest connections.

      Now hotels are not only faced with iPads, let's look at when my family (Parents, Brother, 2 Sisters) and my wife and I check into a hotel. We end up connecting all of the following:
      2 iPhones, 2 iPod Touches, 2 Android Phones, 2 Laptops and an iPad

      That is a lot of devices for one or two rooms, but I would suspect that it will become the norm over the next couple of years. I definitely think the hotels need to step up and provide better free internet access.
    1. Lombardo Joe's Avatar
      Lombardo Joe -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
      Now hotels are not only faced with iPads, let's look at when my family (Parents, Brother, 2 Sisters) and my wife and I check into a hotel. We end up connecting all of the following:
      2 iPhones, 2 iPod Touches, 2 Android Phones, 2 Laptops and an iPad
      I think the main concern here is that you have family members that use Android devices. I understand that we can't pick our parents and siblings. But if it's your wife... This may be grounds for divorce.
    1. iPod's Avatar
      iPod -
      Hotels should purchase 1 GBps speeds from Verizon FiOS lol
    1. TJ-Shocker's Avatar
      TJ-Shocker -
      I was in the middle of nowhere and the hotel had 802.11b only. I was running my laptop and iPhone. It did things, but not fast bought the Eagles album on iTunes and it took dinner plus an hour to download. The hotels need to partner and setup the free service like McDonalds did with At&t or someone reliable and fast. Streaming video and other things using alot of bandwidth should be for a charge. Basic surfing and etc should be free. When they start affecting others usage it needs to be throttled. If people want to complain, Pay for it or use your own. Hell, go buy a McFlurry and use their connection.
    1. rickuk's Avatar
      rickuk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Victor_inox View Post
      Hotels will invest in faster internet, it`s cheaper then account management for each guest. Or they will limit bans with per connection, they has been doing it for years.No one will pay for wi-fi in hotel, unless it`s included in price.

      You might get free WiFi in US hotels, but for the rest of the world you tend to pay, and with international roaming so high, there's no alternative than to pay in the hotel
    1. asmny's Avatar
      asmny -
      Quote Originally Posted by MXCO View Post
      Why don't ppl get clearwire hotspot? Unlimited 4G data for $20 a month, much cheaper then what you pay for AT&T n Verizon unlimited data plan and faster depending where ur at. It's what i did, i was paying $30 for unlimited data with AT&T but the location where i live AT&T 3G sucked so i got clearwire n i can carry it any where

      Where can you get the Clear 4G MIFI for $20 a month? Their web site say $45. Any info will be highly appreciated.
    1. iN2K's Avatar
      iN2K -
      Oh nice I work for a company that surveys Hilton hotels. My job is to bring them up to standards on thier Internet. A lot of these places have old outdated equipment on top slow speeds. Yes, years ago it was great if all you had to do is check emails. I have been to a few places where they had circuits in the double digits but the old hardware wasn't cutting it.While some places may have fast download speeds, Hilton make us throttle every connection down to 128k-256k.
    1. iPhonePutz's Avatar
      iPhonePutz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Victor_inox View Post
      No one will pay for wi-fi in hotel, unless it`s included in price.
      Travel much? Many high end hotels charge for in room wifi.
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lombardo Joe View Post
      I think the main concern here is that you have family members that use Android devices. I understand that we can't pick our parents and siblings. But if it's your wife... This may be grounds for divorce.
      Bahahaha that's funny, and very true.
    1. jonathan1683's Avatar
      jonathan1683 -
      We just need more bandwidth everywhere. Every company and household should have a 100mbit capable connection to it. I hope everyones devices keep crippling the infrastructure till it forces them to upgrade it.
    1. Murphdog's Avatar
      Murphdog -
      I work for a ISP and do support for many hospitality customers. The issue with most hotels is that not only are they still using connections with speeds of 15x2 at the modem (connected to a gateway designed for hospitality's) but each device connected to that network, whether it's wired or wireless, is usually throttled down do anywhere from 256k x 64k to 2mb x 1mb. Few hotels have a fiber connection, but they are out there. Others have upgraded to the newly available (within the last year) wideband internet (docsis 3) which is either 35x5 or 50x5. No matter what the speed is we provide a customer, that speed will always be throttled down so that no one guest hogs the entire connection. As far as tiered pay as you go internaet access, most of my companies customers don't, but the gateway is capable of doing it. You also have hotels that require you to accept a terms & agreements page, others don't, or guests are given a wireless password (all guests using the same password) if they are using the wireless connection. You also have front desks that give each room their own username and password. Those are limited to a certain # of sessions. and once the guest hits that limit, they most likely will need a new password or the ISP needs to be called to delete some of their sessions. The point is, the more authentication required by the gateway, the more difficult it is sometimes for devices (and yes we get many calls about iphones and ipads) to get online. My 2 cents. Thanks.
    1. mwr_allen's Avatar
      mwr_allen -
      Maybe a test should be performed to see how much data is used over a set time for just web browsers, video streamers, etc, then have a free service to the average web browser data amount and above that amount should be charged at a certain fee, this would probably reduce the amount of people overusing the free service and make a little money out of it at the same time.

      Just a thought.
    1. valkraider's Avatar
      valkraider -
      I travel extensively in the USA for business, and have for years. The problem has nothing to do with iPads. Hotel Wi-Fi (and even most wired access) has been crap as long as I have been using it.

      The iPad is simply exposing the problem to the general public...

      I have found that most expensive hotels charge for internet access, while most inexpensive hotels offer it free. I think it is for a couple reasons. One is people who pay more for the hotel most likely will have money to pay for internet access. Internet access is also not part of the competition for a fancy hotel - the fanciness of the hotel is the selling feature - but for something like a Super8 or DaysInn you are competing with a bunch of other "bed and shower" hotels so Internet access can be a competitive feature.

      Ironically the expensive hotels tend to be the ones that had put their internet in first, years ago. So they tend to be outdated and work the least.But seriously - all hotel internet access sucks. And when a hotel can charge $10 a day for net access it makes the $20 a month wireless hotspot tethering capability on my iPhone a bargain.

      Here is the deal though, if colleges can do wireless networks right - so could hotels.

      One big Wi-Fi rollout: 12,000 college dorm residents - Computerworld

      Colleges struggle with students' data demand
    1. fleurya's Avatar
      fleurya -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raybeast View Post
      Offer a better wifi? Seriously hotels should have at least a 50 mps speed available.
      Hotel internet access, free or paid, wired or wireless, has always been crap despite what devices are on it and likely always will be crap. Besides, iPads are hardly to blame as people have been using laptops and such for ages in hotels, especially hotels with business travelers.