Currently, when your guests enter your hotel and attempt to use your hotel WiFi, they need to log in manually to your guest network. However, the typical login procedure has a number of shortcomings:
- Guests need to choose the correct network and log in every time.
- It’s not always clear which networks are legitimate and which are phishing networks.
- Many public WiFi networks are open and don’t use encryption. Devices can often “see” one another; therefore, their information is not secure from one another.
A relatively new technology called Hotspot 2.0 (also sometimes called HS2, Passpoint, or Next-Gen Hotspot) is intended to lessen or eliminate these shortcomings. The process of joining a Hotspot 2.0-enabled network is simple:
- Even before entering your hotel, the guest’s device can retrieve the configuration profile that is needed to connect to your guest WiFi network. For example, a button within the brand loyalty app can offer to handle the installation of the necessary profile when the guest makes their reservation; the guest simply needs to click and confirm. Alternatively, the guest can scan a barcode at check-in to download the necessary certificates.
- Once the profile is installed on the guest’s device, the device will automatically connect to the WiFi; no additional sign-in is needed. The profile is generally per-brand, meaning the guest’s device can now connect at any Hotspot 2.0-enabled hotel of that brand.
- As the guest moves around your property, their device is automatically connected to the best available hotspot.
Benefits of Hotspot 2.0 include:
- Automatic connections make it easier for your guests to use the network, resulting in fewer complaints and happier guests.
- Guests don’t need to do anything to use Hotspot 2.0 once the certificates are installed on their device. Most modern mobile devices support Hotspot 2.0, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
- Much like with cellular “roaming,” the guest experience remains consistent with needing to reconnect or sign in.
- There is no need to guess about the authenticity or safety of a network. The mobile device knows which networks are authentic Hotspot 2.0 partner networks with the right security credentials and certificates.
- The connection is a 1:1 connection with enterprise-grade encryption, ensuring that rogue devices cannot intercept communications.
Public networks such as those in airports and some hotels and restaurants are already starting to adopt Hotspot 2.0, and many large cable and cellular providers already offer support for this technology or are rolling it out. Hospitality WiFi is currently working on incorporating these capabilities into our access points.