If you’re a business traveler, then you know the critical nature of high quality wi-fi performance when your sitting at the airport waiting for a flight. So many hours waiting, such low data rates. Speaking from personal experience, I know I am twice as productive if I can manage my inbox on my laptop and a solid Wi-Fi connection, than if I use my smartphone alone. When I only have an hour between long flights… and I know don’t have Wi-Fi on those flights… then this matters. Just as hotels are wising up to the need to provide great performing Wi-Fi to their guests, airports are getting smart too when it comes to connectivity.
Airports compete just like other businesses do and they must adapt, evolve and innovate in order remain relevant. A great example of this in right in my backyard. In recent years, Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) completed an amazing expansion and renovation. They attracted a few key airlines and started stealing some traveler market share away from Cleveland (CLE). CAK never had Wi-Fi in the past, but they have it now. Wi-Fi is on the list of services a modern airport should provide. This is simply the result of how connected we all have become and our need to stay connected.
Indeed, today we are very price sensitive when it comes to flying and many times this directs the airline and airport we choose. However, an hour of lost productivity at an airport can be extremely frustrating and a multitude of these poor experiences can start to influence purchasing behavior. Airports are getting serious about Wi-Fi because the customer experience is just as important to their product offering as it is to other businesses and their products. Wi-Fi is becoming a critical airport amenity for both business people and families.
7signal is working with a few airports right now who take Wi-Fi performance seriously. They realize it’s a key part of the overall airport experience and that as passengers have more power when it comes to travel choices. Below is a picture of our Sapphire Eye WLAN sensor monitoring Wi-Fi performance for travelers at a large, international airport in the southern U.S. You can see the unit in the ceiling with the sapphire-colored blue light.
The data collected by the Eye is used to understand the Wi-Fi experience from the traveler’s perspective. Next, benchmarks are created for target levels of performance and then Wi-Fi performance is measured against those service level targets 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The data collected by the Sapphire Eye is also used to identify weak spots caused by poorly performing wireless access points or environmental interference. Once identified, action plans for improvement are clear and may be put in place. Wi-Fi performance monitoring offers a proactive way to ensure travelers have a great airport experience during what can be a taxing and trying time…especially around the holidays.
Click below if you would like to speak with us to see if you are eligible to receive a free Wi-Fi performance assessment.