Opinion: By Dave Millett, from Equinox

When someone is travelling, whether on business or for personal reasons, they look at three things when booking an hotel: 1. Location, 2. Price, 3. Facilities.

High up on the list of facilities wanted is WiFi. The next time someone asks about that hotel, you can guarantee the WiFi signal will be mentioned, especially if it was either a poor connection or an expensive one.


When travelling on business, people need a quality Internet connection. They need to be able to connect quickly and to be able to work effectively. They want a reliable Internet connection. Unfortunately, too many hotels believe all they need is a standard broadband connection. They are missing a trick. Here’s why… let’s consider what happens during and after a stay at a hotel with unreliable connectivity.



Reception is likely to get a complaint from the guest. “I’ve paid £XXX for this room and I can’t even send emails quickly”


Elsewhere for Dinner

If they cannot work in their room, they probably cannot work in the bar/restaurant either, because it’s on the same connection. So, they simply go somewhere else where they can get a decent connection. The hotel loses food and beverage revenues. Approximately £70 a day is spent by business people on food and drink. That can quickly add up.


Will they stay there again?

Unless they have no choice in the bookings, the chances are slim that they will stay there again. More lost revenue.



The number one complaint about hotel rooms is the lack of free WiFi. We all check review sites when considering purchases and we use them to help make decisions. More and more people are happy to complain nowadays, whether via social media or using a review site such as Feefo or Trustpilot. Poor reviews impact revenue.


Decent Wifi isn’t expensive

We recently upgraded the internet connection for a Scottish hotel that previously had a broadband connection. To pay for this, they needed to increase their occupancy levels by 0.2% or sell just two more room bookings over the year.


Why do calls made from your room cost so much?

The traditional view is that calls made from your room will cost a small fortune. Therefore, people don’t use the phone in their room, meaning the hotel misses out on revenue. This is circular; the hotel doesn’t invest in new technology because the phone system is considered an expense and doesn’t bring revenue, people don’t use the phone because… and round it goes.

Let’s look at the options.


Sweating the assets

It makes sense to get maximum benefit from all investments, so we understand why hotels keep a phone system for as long as it continues to work. However, there are costs being incurred and opportunities missed when doing this.


Legacy Equipment

Phone systems over 5 years old lack an upgrade path and so have to have inbound lines to receive calls. A recent analysis of a hotel’s calls showed 17,000 inbound calls a month, adding up to £120 a month. Their outbound calls, to landlines and mobiles, added up to a similar value. Between them, that’s £3,000 per annum of cost because the phone system couldn’t be upgraded to use SIP connections, that provide free calls inbound and outbound.


Legacy phone systems also lack the ability to offer additional services to guests. Imagine being able to offer free calls to guests. Mobile signals are often poor in hotel rooms (due to the construction of the building) so, particularly, business people struggle to work effectively. If the hotel is in a rural location the mobile signal may be poor anyway, and then you factor in the building structure’s impact on the signal, making it even worse. Free calls could be a powerful marketing tool. You will probably want to charge for international calls, but they would still be far cheaper than normal.


Meeting rooms often generate considerable revenues for hotels. Being able to offer conference calls in meeting rooms would be an added value that will attract additional bookings.


It’s a big capital expenditure, isn’t it?


Between a third and half the cost of a new phone system is normally the handsets. If an average handset is £100, a large hotel could be facing a five-figure hardware invoice, just for handsets. However, most room handsets can be used when attached to a new PBX.

They don’t need to be replaced. The handset on reception and in the offices may well be replaced to provide additional functionality but that’s a relatively small amount. Recent projects suggest £15-20K would provide a new phone system for a hotel up to 200 rooms. Just based on the call savings above, the investment is repaid in five years. That is without the additional marketing benefit and revenues that can be generated from guests.


Dave Millet Equinox.jpg


About the Author

Dave Millett has over 35 years’ experience in the Telecoms Industry.  He has worked in European Director roles for several global companies.  He now runs Equinox, a leading independent brokerage and consultancy firm. He works with many companies, charities and other organisations and has helped them achieve savings of up to 80%.  He also regularly advises telecom suppliers on improving their products and propositions.
Twitter: @equinoxcomms

Supplier News

Sorry, there were no results found.

Other News

GlasgowSpringRosetteBlythswood Square HotelrestaurantrelaunchMoet & ChandonMoetRoseRose
15 February 2019

Moët Rosé Truck Premieres In Glasgow This Spring

The Moët & Chandon cellars are an exceptional heritage of the House, the unique testimony of several centuries of winema…

Read More
23 January 2019

Moxy Edinburgh Airport is Now Open

The 230-bedroom Moxy Edinburgh Airport brings a playful twist on the traditional airport hotel offering. The edgy, mille…

Read More
12 February 2019

Aviator Hotel planned for Edinburgh Airport

The 200 bedroom hotel will have a restaurant, bar and meeting facilities and aims to generate 104 jobs as well as £2m in…

Read More
st andrewsthe old course hotel
06 February 2019

The Old Course Hotel in St Andrews Launches Caddie School For Servicemen

The month-long Caddie School for former soldiers was developed in partnership with St Andrews Legacy, a not for profit o…

Read More

Hotel Offers

Luxurywinter5 StarRelaxGlencoe House
25 January 2019

Glencoe House Winter "Suite" Offer

Be the Lord and Lady of the manor for a night in the Glencoe House Suites, which are situated in the mansion house. You …

Read More
Luxurywinter5 StarGlencoe HouseHot Tub
25 January 2019

Glencoe House Winter “Hot Tub Suite” Offer

Who doesn’t want to sit in the hot tub on a crisp winter’s evening star gazing or sit beside a roaring wood burning stov…

Read More
LuxuryStaydine5 StarCromlixPerthshireOfferDunblaneChez Roux
18 January 2019

Cromlix Hotel: 2 Night Suite Package

Situated in beautiful countryside, just three miles from Dunblane, Cromlix is set in 34 acres of secluded woodlands and …

Read More
LuxuryStaydine5 StarhighlandsOfferfort williamInverlochy Castle
20 January 2019

Inverlochy Castle: Winter Package

Inverlochy Castle Hotel is a beautiful 19th century castle surrounded by the luscious green of the evergreen trees and t…

Read More

Job Vacancies

21 January 2019

Greenkeeper- Seasonal: Gleneagles

Gleneagles, an iconic country estate set beneath the beautiful Ochill Hills in Perthshire is current recruiting Greenkee…

Read More

If you need marketing support for your hotel or tourism business please visit our partners tourismmarketing.agency