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Just because a motel is small does not mean it shouldn’t include the same modern amenities and conveniences of its larger hotel counterparts. Like any lodging provider, a motel’s number one goal should always be guest satisfaction. By focusing on consistently providing a superior guest experience, you’re setting yourself up for financial success by turning your one-time guests into repeat customers.

One modern amenity that any establishment – hospitality or otherwise – absolutely needs to offer is dependable WiFi. Whether your location is large or small, guests expect readily available, fast, and reliable wireless internet. Most guests are unlikely to even consider staying in a motel that does not offer managed internet services.

But how much speed do you need in your motel WiFi solution? If your motel is small, do you need the same speed as a large motel? The answer isn’t so simple. Read on to learn more about how to best integrate quality WiFi solutions for your motel.

Considering Motel WiFi Speed

The speed of WiFi has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. In the United States, the average download speed, according to Worldwide Broadband Speed League, is just over 94 megabits-per-second (Mbps). Data transfer at such a fast rate was once unfathomable, yet it is now expected, commonplace, and simply average.

Does your motel guest WiFi really need to be that fast for guest satisfaction? The answer can vary. While it’s important to have high-speed WiFi to ensure guests can connect to things like their social media profiles, log into their company servers, and tune into an exemplary in-room entertainment experience, your guests are unlikely to notice speeds beyond a certain point. If video streaming works flawlessly without buffering, your WiFi will satisfy most guests. This means you should shoot for speeds in the 5-25 Mbps range. For reference, Netflix recommends 5 Mbps for HD streaming and 25 Mbps for 4k (Ultra HD) streaming. If your motel’s WiFi solution is within this range, you will be able to accommodate the high internet speeds of almost any guest during their stay.

However, there is more to a WiFi network than simply the speed at which it operates. It is important to consider the effects of bandwidth on your property and how it can impact guest connectivity.

Considering Bandwidth for Your Motel

Bandwidth is all about how much traffic can flow through your network at a given time. It’s typically quantified by bitrate (the number of bits that are processed during a certain time), which is measured in Mbps. While bandwidth can often be mistaken for Internet speed – partially due to both metrics being expressed in the same units of measurement – in reality, it is very different.

Internet bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred to and from your computer. Internet speed, meanwhile, is how quickly that data can be transferred.

Alternatively, think of bandwidth in terms of a water pipe. The amount of water that can flow through the pipe at any given second is finite. The only way to allow more water to flow through is by switching it out for a larger pipe. This is how bandwidth works; the more bandwidth you have, the larger the ‘pipe’, allowing even more data to flow.

What does this mean for your WiFi network’s traffic? It means that the amount of bandwidth required to run optimally is dependent on the number of devices that are simultaneously connected to the network and the amount of data each device is transferring. If too many devices are connected to the same network, frustrating interruptions and poor network performance will unfortunately occur. Because of this, it is important to ensure that your motel’s bandwidth is able to accommodate the data needs of your guests.

What Does This Mean for the Internet for Small Motels?

Determining the correct WiFi solution for your motel is vital in creating high guest satisfaction that will ultimately lead to repeat guest stays. At the end of the day, do small motel internet solutions need the same internet speeds as those found in larger establishments?

In terms of motel internet speed, yes, a small establishment should certainly strive to offer the same speeds as any other lodging provider. For guests to be satisfied with the video streaming performance in their rooms, a motel should provide guests with an absolute minimum of 5 Mbps, and preferably closer to 25 Mbps to achieve the best guest experience.

Bandwidth, however, is a different story. Because a small motel doesn’t have as many rooms, there will naturally be fewer WiFi-connected devices at one time, reflecting  the smaller guest volume. Bandwidth is all about the total amount of data traffic being transmitted over the network at any given moment. Thus, a small motel does not need the amount of bandwidth that is necessary for a larger, more crowded establishment.

Managed WiFi Services for Motels from BlueprintRF

Small motels should unequivocally offer guests quality WiFi service to make their stay more enjoyable. Regardless of your motel’s size, you should be aiming for speeds in the 5-25 Mbps range – your guests and employees alike will appreciate speeds on the upper end.

Bandwidth, however, is highly dependent on your size. In theory, a motel with 20 rooms needs only a quarter of the bandwidth required by a motel with 80 rooms. Of course, there is more to the equation, such as the average number of guests per room. Still, in general terms, a small motel needs less bandwidth than a large one.

If you’re unsure of your specific needs, you can always adjust as you go. WiFi monitoring software such as BlueprintRF’s Dashboard will give you an in-depth look at your bandwidth performance and overall network health. If you find that your bandwidth usage is well below what you are paying for, you can likely scale down (and right back up) as needed. Actively interface with your guests and your WiFi network to understand how it’s performing. If you see that your network is struggling to keep up due to insufficient bandwidth, you can give your network the boost it needs.

We work with several major brands and management companies, including:

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