Tag Archives: WiFi

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “DIY Not the Answer with Hotel Technology”

For the first time, technology has become a real point of differentiation for hotel companies. As owners and asset managers become more involved and focus onDIY Hotel Tech technology and distribution, the pressure will grow for brand companies. It’s great the entire industry recognizes the problem, but the question becomes, how does it get solved? Or worse, what happens if it doesn’t?

After attending the summer season of hotel industry events, I was surprised to see a new found recognition from hotel brand companies that technology has become an urgent priority. It is refreshing to hear executives admitting that they have fallen behind the curve and are desperate for new solutions.

It wasn’t that long ago that technology and distribution were barely mentioned at these events, but now they are often the focus of general sessions at even the biggest investment conferences like NYU. And now we even have newer events like the Revenue Strategy Summit and the Hotel Data Conference where distribution is a main topic on the agenda.

It’s remarkable to see such a transformation, but that’s where my excitement stops. In the next breath, many of the same hotel brand leaders talk about a renewed commitment to building better technology. They want to compete with Expedia, Priceline, and Google by creating their own in-house platforms.

For more: http://bit.ly/1P4k8Lw

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Security Flaw In Hotel Wi-Fi Routers Could Put Devices At Risk”

“This is the second time in recent months that security researchers have warned of hotel Wi-Fi networks being a potential vectorWireless data security of attack for cybercriminals, providing a not-so-subtle reminder that individuals must be ever-vigilant regarding the security of their devices and access points.”

Cylance, a security vendor, says that its security researchers at the Sophisticated Penetration Exploitation and Research team (SPEAR) have uncovered a flaw in the InnGate Wi-Fi router commonly used by many hotels that could be placing the devices of guests at risk. According to Wired, the Cylance team reports, the vulnerability could threaten not just guests, but could also spread to the hotels themselves if hackers are able to compromise the router to allow them to access other parts of the hotel network. Cylance says this could potentially impact reservations and billing.

The vulnerability, dubbed CVE-2015-0932 gives an attacker full read and write access to the file system of an ANTLabs’ InnGate device, Cylance reports.  Cyber thieves gain remote access through an unauthenticated rsync daemon running on TCP 873, which then allows them to read and write unrestricted to the file system of the Linux based operating system.

For more: http://bit.ly/1yYJZK7

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology, Theft

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “FCC Rules Hotel Wi-Fi Blocking Is Illegal and Subject to Penalties”

“No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, includinghotelwifi as part of an effort to force consumers to purchase access to the property owner’s Wi‑Fi network,” The FCC states. “Such action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.”

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission forcefully came down on the “disturbing trend” of hotels and other commercial entities blocking consumers’ personal Wi-Fi hot spots and declared such practices “illegal.”

The enforcement advisory directly rebuffs efforts by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and the rest of the U.S. hotel industry to get the authority to block attendees’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots at meetings and conventions.

Although the FCC hasn’t directly ruled on the Marriott and American Hotel & Lodging Association petition, filed in August, to seek clarification of the law as it pertains to Wi-Fi blocking, the FCC did note: “While the Enforcement Bureau recognizes that the Petition questions our position, the Bureau will continue to enforce the law as it understands it unless and until the Commission determines otherwise.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1EqnSm1

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “Marriott hotels lobby FCC for right to block outside Wi-Fi”

Most obviously, hotels would have a monopoly over Internet access and could charge guests with exorbitant Wi-Fi fees; much like Marriott did with its $1,000 access rates at the Gaylord Opryland HotelBlock wifi…Worse yet, hotels and other enterprises could also easily censor access to content deemed undesirable to the business via the Wi-Fi access contract terms. For example, Hilton could block all access to travel booking websites that list hotels with lower rates.

As the battle for Net Neutrality rages on, Federal regulators may soon be ruling in another dispute between consumer access and business control of the Internet.

In a petition to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission made public last week, the American Hospitality & Lodging Association and Marriott International asked the FCC to declare that a hotel operate can deploy equipment that “may result in ‘interference with or cause interference’ to a Part 15 [Wi-Fi] device being used by a guest on the operator’s property.”

Wi-Fi network operators should be able to manage their networks in order to provide a secure and reliable Wi-Fi service to guests on their premises,” Marriott argued.

For more: http://bit.ly/1vEjyXZ

 

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How Much Bandwidth Does Your Property Need?”

Hoteliers need to know how the bandwidth is currently being used so they can prioritize different types of usage. Packet inspection equipment can help you figure out if guests are using the Internetbandwidth to download movie torrents or to make voice over IP calls, and then you can prioritize and make more bandwidth available for one activity over the other. “You don’t want to overpay for excess bandwidth when it isn’t necessary,”

Two years ago, BioMarin, a pharmaceutical firm based in San Rafael, Calif., called Inn Marin to book an offsite training session. This wasn’t unusual since the 69-room independent hotel is located eight miles up the road from the company’s headquarters. And with only 35 people attending, the meeting requirements were far from onerous. But there was one last-minute request that nearly caused Inn Marin to lose this booking. BioMarin needed an Internet connection that was six megabits per second (Mbps) or faster to allow 20 desktop computers to log into the corporate server in San Rafael. And the DSL line coming into the hotel was only capable of 1 Mbps down and 1/2 Mbps up. “I just about had a heart attack,” says Inn Marin General Manager Robert Marshall. “That’s when I realized that we couldn’t keep doing business like this.”

For more: http://bit.ly/1p3ciar

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Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “How Tech Will Make Your Hotel Room Feel Like Home (Or Better)”

In the wireless Internet age, guests increasingly expect a personalized experience abroad as well as at home. That can be tough on hotels, as rapid changes in technology makeforbes it difficult and expensive for them to adapt. A few years ago, hotels equipped themselves to handle two mobile devices per guest. Now, guests may have three or more, and just when they thought they had needs covered, hotels have to build more robust networks.

When you receive your morning wake-up call at theWit hotel in Chicago, there’s no robotic voice intoning, “It’s time for your wakeup call.” Instead, you can be rousted by a very different message:

“Hey you dirty rat, this is Al Capone reminding you to get your rotten bones out of that sack. Now get moving—I’ve got an overdue Valentine’s Day gift for Elliot Ness I’ve still got to deliver! [Laughter and gun shots].”

Or perhaps you’d rather hear Muddy Waters. Or Ann Landers. The touchscreen next to the phones in all of the hotel’s 310 rooms lets you choose who will urge you to rise and shine. Touch that same screen to request extra pillows, get a toothbrush or order meals—without ever picking up the phone.

For more: http://onforb.es/1uwkOOA

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Social Media, Technology

Hospitality Industry Technology Update: “In Marriott’s Newest Flagship, Tech is all Behind the Scenes and in Your Hand”

“…Research is showing that more hotel guests are starting to demand certain techie features.marriott-marquis-exterior Research company SmartBrief found that 45 percent of hotels guests travel with two mobile devices – 40 percent carry three. And with these devices, guests are demanding more charging options, mobile-based automated services like check-in/check-out, digital signage in the lobby, sophisticated meeting rooms, and customer service via social media…”

As technology continues to dictate our everyday lives, we seemingly anticipate our environment to respond in the same manner. There are numerous products designed to make our homes smarter, and even restaurants are using tablets to do away with traditional wait staff. In the travel and hospitality sector, some hotels are adapting to new tech trends by adding things like automated blinds, TVs embedded in bathroom mirrors, sophisticated radios with iPhone docks, iPads in lounges, or even a robotic luggage handler (it’s real, it’s called the Yobot, and it’s at the Yotel in New York City).

For more: http://bit.ly/1mobXr6

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