By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
HTNG – a non-profit hotel industry organisation dedicated to fostering new technology – has formed a workgroup aimed at developing a standardised method for measuring hotel Wi-Fi quality. The organisation expects the standard to be verified and adopted by mid next year, says HTNG CIO, Patrick Dunphy.
Everyone will agree that high-quality Wi-Fi is critically important for the hospitality industry – but thus far, nobody has come up with a standardised and replicable method for quantifying the hotel Wi-Fi user experience. Now the non-profit hotel industry body HTNG aka ‘Hospitality Technology Next Generation’ has formed an industry workgroup to that end.
HTNG is aiming to define and verify a method for “objective measure of the guest Wi-Fi quality of experience,” the organisation says. “The chosen methodology eventually agreed upon will be technology agnostic so that various vendors will be able to deliver such a system. Our goal is to come up with a 1-10 objective score for hotel Wi-Fi,” says Patrick Dunphy, CIO of HTNG.
Among the main contributors to the workgroup are representatives from HTNG member companies such as hospitality giant Marriott International, Wi-Fi quality measurement solution vendor Epitiro, and Wi-Fi managed services vendor Global Reach Technology.
Desmond Owens, COO and co-founder of Epitiro, says that to get a representative measure of the user or guest experience, the methodology would measure the service in a way that is consistent with a guest’s use and captures the end-to-end service performance. “Ideally, the measurement and score would include the service availability, the connection success-rates, time to connect, and the performance of key guest services. It is also important that the approach works across different Wi-Fi infrastructure and technology versions, including Wi-Fi 6,” Desmond Owens says.
“We believe the new scheme primarily will be used by hotel managers and owners to make informed decisions. Knowing how good their hotel Wi-Fi is in various locations also gives them a roadmap for new investment into Wi-Fi networks,” says Patrick Dunphy. He also says that quality measures could at some point be made public and used for marketing.
Dunphy says the workgroup has recently issued an RFI for proof-of-concept test tools. Once tool vendors have been selected, the next phase is to conduct actual on-location testing to verify the validity of the agreed measurement algorithms, he says. By mid next year HTNG expects the new standard to be voted on and adopted.
“We represent more than half of the global hospitality industry, so we believe this standard will be widely accepted and adopted once verified. And then we will finally have an objective quality of experience measurement. That will be of significant value to the hospitality industry,” he says.