Providing a wireless LAN for guests and customers is mandatory in many economic sectors where various business interests are pursued. In hotels, wireless LAN has been established for a long time. Cafés and system catering try to encourage guests to stay longer by offering wireless LAN and thus increase sales.
However, a simple and open access point for wireless LAN is not suitable for commercial claims and does not meet the country-specific and legal needs. A modern wireless LAN for guests and customers should have a login page which appears automatically for registration and can also have advertising. There are numerous registration methods, such as simply confirming the terms and conditions, a ticket system that requires a fee or using social media, e. g. facebook or twitter. Nevertheless, all registration methods should limit the access to the wireless LAN for a certain time in order to prevent illegal permanent use.
In case one of the guests uses the wireless LAN for illegal downloads, the person who offers the Wi-Fi to guests and customers can be held liable in some countries. Therefore, a Hotspot solution should always provide the option to route the whole customer’s traffic to an Internet service provider.
Taking a closer look at the market, a wide range of Hotspot solutions is available. On the one hand, there are professional solutions for hotels which require corresponding hardware costs and complex installation. An IT specialist installs and starts the system on site and customizes it to the clients’ needs. On the other hand, there are systems based on access points from the consumer market and Cloud solutions. These systems are usually limited to one access point and are not extendable. Therefore, these products cannot provide a solution for chain stores with corresponding claims according to functionality and liability.
Large chains have further requirements for a perfect HotSpot solution. Apart from the necessary access point no further hardware should be needed and the Internet access router already in use should keep on operating. Furthermore, especially for large chains, it is important to choose an expandable system without difficulty to ensure radio coverage in the whole building. It is important to guarantee smooth roaming and thus allowing users to move freely within the building without any new login. Last but not least, the installation should be possible without any technical experts in order to keep the costs in each branch office low. Ideally, the required access point is sent simply by mail to the branch office and the branch manager connects the access point to a free Ethernet port of the Internet access router. The access point automatically registers to the central Cloud management system and receives its individual Hotspot configuration via a safe Internet connection.
Teldat as a manufacturer of access points and provider of wireless LAN solutions offers also Cloud solutions as described above.