Business travellers are no strangers to five-star hotels charging for two-star Internet services. That’s why we’re always pleased to see a hotel investing in taking its tech to the next level – especially when its Internet is already fast and free to being with.
Case in point: The Peninsula Beijing, which is currently upgrading its Internet service to serve high-speed wifi throughout the hotel.
The new hardware will run on the latest 802.11n wireless spec which is designed to support a larger number of users at higher speeds, as well as provide greater coverage, compared to the older 802.11g gear which remains in place at many hotels.
“Hotel guests today expect the same level of utility from the Internet as they do for electricity and water” explains Shane Izaks, General Manager of IT for Peninsula Hotels. “They step into a room and they expect Internet access to be fast and usable 24x7.”
Izaks tells Australian Business Traveller that “we are looking at all Peninsula properties around the world, and Beijing is going through the first phase of that upgrade process.”
This not only includes a boost to what Izaks terms ‘gigaspeed Internet’ for the hotel’s broadband backbone, but high-speed wireless access points designed to blanket the hotel with near- total Wi-Fi coverage.
“We’ve already got Wi-Fi on all the guest floors but we want to cover the entire building. We want 99.99% coverage – no dark spot or black spots – so guests can use their smartphones, tablets or notebooks literally anywhere in the hotel.”
The Peninsula Beijing already chalked up a high-tech touch earlier this year when it outfitted its private fleet of 14 luxury limousines – mostly BMW 750s but also two Mercedes-Benz Vianos and two bespoke extended-wheelbase Rolls-Royces, all finished in signature Peninsula ‘Brewster Green’ – with mobile Internet.
Each car is equipped with a portable MiFi-style device which converts a 3G mobile broadband signal into a low-power Wi-Fi hotspot.
Arriving guests who are met at Beijing Airport by one of the cars can turn the hour-long drive to the hotel into a productive session for sending off all those emails written during the flight, and also grabbing on the latest emails and dealing with any urgent matters.
By the time you arrive at the hotel all that ‘work’ is done and you can spend more time relaxing in the room or tackling more pressing issues than simply catching up on email.