iBAHN, a global leader in IP platform-based systems and broadband technologies for the hospitality industry, today announced a new, guest-sensitive connectivity solution for hotels based on its Freemium model.
The company’s new business model for the hospitality sector allows hotels an easy way to upgrade their WiFi offering to guests, at no operating cost to the hotel. Upon initial roll-out, the model is available only to the company’s EMEA customers.
iBAHN’s strategic approach to the evolving hospitality market across the world, and particularly in EMEA, informed the decision to develop the Freemium service while at the same time reflecting the growing demand from hotel customers for free WiFi connectivity.
The free versus paid connectivity debate has become increasingly complex in the past six months, in part due to the explosive growth in mobile networked devices carried by hotel customers, who expect a “home away from home” internet experience when they book into a property.
However, the “as much as you can eat” free WiFi model cannot be sustained commercially as bandwidth needs continue to grow with the prevalence of Big Data in the form of streaming video, games and music content. Business customers at hotels also are increasingly downloading and uploading large documents and connecting on live conferencing facilities.
Recent research by iBAHN shows that mean average data transferred by hotel guests in EMEA, per room in 2011 was 280MB per day, but data reveals some users transferring 200GB – or seven times the mean.
The iBAHN Freemium solution gives hoteliers and their customers the best of all worlds, allowing free WiFi connectivity for low-bandwidth engagement and tasks, while allowing people to choose premium connectivity as a paid-for service if they have more bandwidth-intensive needs.
Through the model properties will not pay iBAHN a fee; instead a chargeable tiered service will incorporate a portion of the charge going to iBAHN for premium services.