Eleven Wireless is supporting an industry trend allowing hotels to offer free Internet access for guests, while charging for other services or non-guests.
While there is a growing industry trend of offering free Internet service in hotels, it doesn’t make sense for all hotels. Costs in supporting guest broadband networks can be expensive, and charging in some manner allows hotels to recover costs.
Eleven’s software, ElevenOS, enables hotels to offer limited free Internet service to guests with limited bandwidth, while charging guests for additional services. Examples of additional services could be higher bandwidth and a public IP address. Further, ElevenOS can charge non-guests for the same access guests get for free.
In hotels with meeting or convention space, ElevenOS allows hotels to centrally manage access for groups or conferences. This enables sales and catering staff to charge for and provision access when they are putting together packages for groups.
As industry consultant Jon Inge wrote in The Electronic Guestroom (Hospitality Upgrade, Spring 2006), with virtually all of today’s guests carrying cell phones, and with increasing numbers using guestroom Internet connections for high-bandwidth services such as Skype phones or streaming video, “guestroom phone revenue looks more precarious than ever. One answer may lie in bandwidth metering: providing HSIA free to guests up to a usable bandwidth for e-mail and general surfing, but charging for continuous heavy usage for streaming video.”
“Our customers have been using ElevenOS to manage free networks for years,” said Josh Friedman, Eleven’s vice president of marketing. “Just because a hotel decides it needs to offer a free plan to guests, doesn’t mean it can’t charge for additional services. Our software allows hotels to accomplish this easily, and not only recover costs, but make money.”