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Focus on Wireless Internet

Di Antonio Caneva, 6 Febbraio 2004

Among the Expo Riva Hotel fair events in Riva del Garda, and underscoring the significance and relevance of the topic to the current times, a place has been given to the first Forum on Wireless Services for Hospitality. The issue is relevant to today’s experience because current technological developments allow to activate such a service in an uncomplicated way, and it is significant in that the option of connecting to the web without plugging in the computer is becoming the key to providing a number of services that are increasingly on demand.
The meeting has successfully described the present situation of the market, which generally presents businesses with two alternative ways of activating wireless technology services: either by independently installing easy-to-integrate technical supports activated by pre-existing electrical wiring with the help of specialised providers or by using TV antenna lines or diffusors, or by stipulating an agreement with a company that provides the equipment and installation on a free loan basis and carries out the servicing, receiving the revenues from the generated traffic except a percentage for the hosting facility.
Depending on its own organisation and vocation, each business will determine which arrangement is most suitable to its requirements; there is no doubt, however, that soon enough the customers’ demand will be so pressing as not to allow for any further postponement of such a decision. According to figures presented at the meeting, already 25% to 30% of domestic users of ADSL Internet connections utilise a wireless connection. The equation is an easy one to solve, considering that hotel customers expect to be provided a service at least as good as what they have at home.
A point of interest in the meeting discussion – and a controversial one, where participants were defensive of their own positions – was the low level of security of wireless communication. According to some, 50% to 60% of wireless networks are open to interception.
This prompts further reflection on the very important issue of which more secure and effective technologies may be available. Not being knowledgeable enough to comment on it now, we are waiting for useful insights from the meeting on the Internet and wireless services in tourist establishments that Job is organising in Milan next April.

Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran

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