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No more weak phone signals - Using laser technology to 'open up' hotel windows just a bit.


een vrouw die voor een raam staat en naar haar mobiele telefoon kijkt

Article in HOTELVAK Nr 01 2024

Text: Arman Landman - Photo: WAVE by AGC


 


Just like everyone else these days, hotel guests are online and reachable all the time. They make phone calls, use WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat, stream their favourite series on Netflix and watch videos on YouTube – all of which requires perfect connectivity throughout the hotel. The problem is that Wi-Fi connections have security issues, to say the least, and can only offer limited bandwidth. Compounding the issue is the fact that more and more buildings are so well insulated that they tend to attenuate 4G and 5G signals. Luckily, AGC Glass has a solution: WAVETHRU.


“These days, if you aim to provide your guests with optimal service then you must ensure perfect connectivity throughout the entire hotel,” says Cynthia van Vroenhoven, Business Developer WAVETHRU at AGC Glass. “Nothing is more annoying than having no mobile reception in your hotel room – and yet modern buildings increasingly face this problem. The better a facade is insulated, the more it serves as a barrier to mobile phone signals due to the 'Faraday cage' effect. Increasingly stringent sustainability requirements, which in turn lead to certain types of glass being installed, such as insulating glazing, double glazing, triple glazing, aggravate the issue.”


While nearly all hotels now offer free Wi-Fi, that does not always solve the problem. Using Wi-Fi for phone calls is hardly ideal and public Wi-Fi networks often have limited bandwidth, making streaming films and series a challenge. In addition, Wi-Fi is notoriously insecure and can easily be hacked. On top of all that, it is a significant cost for hotels.


Van Vroenhoven continues: “4G and 5G connections are much more secure and usually faster and more stable than Wi-Fi. More and more people these days have an unlimited data plan and you’re doing them a big favour if they can make calls and surf the web via their own provider. If your hotel offers guests perfect connectivity, whether they have a domestic or foreign provider, and if they can use their own plan, then you're offering them exceptional hospitality, service and convenience.”


Excellent connectivity


Glassmaker AGC developed WAVETHRU specifically to enable excellent connectivity in all buildings. Once this patented, durable and one-time treatment is applied to the glass panes in new and existing window units, all signals can pass through effortlessly. WAVETHRU can be applied to any brand of glass and requires no maintenance. In just a single visit to the building , a specialist WAVETHRU technician can laser-treat multiple windows. The treatment itself has no adverse impact on the glazing's insulation or thermal performance. It is also invisible to the naked eye and requires no energy. “We can run a free quick scan in advance to determine what the problems are at a specific location. This involves taking measurements both inside and outside,” Van Vroenhoven explains. “We then draw up a report and send it to the customer, along with our quote. Once the quote has been accepted, we can quickly deploy our teams to the building to carry out the process using our laser-treatment robot. The technicians don’t need much room, just one and a half metres of free space next to the window. Hotel staff can work unimpeded and guests will not be disturbed. WAVETHRU works for all mobile phones and operators.”



All about hospitality


Since AGC launched WAVETHRU six years ago, the treatment has been applied to many properties in the Benelux countries, greatly enhancing their connectivity. “We started with co-working spaces, healthcare facilities, hospitals and flexi-offices. Now we'd like to find out whether WAVETHRU can also be the right solution for the hotel market. I love meeting with hotels to discuss how we can help. I'm a big fan of the hotel and hospitality industry since I studied at a hotel school myself. Our quick scan is free of charge and we guarantee the final result.”


Not only does WAVETHRU improve coverage throughout the hotel, but it also ensures a healthier environment. “By treating part of the window with a laser, we are in effect 'opening up' the window a bit,” says Van Vroenhoven. “This results in a more homogeneous signal flow, which is much healthier than keeping radiation trapped within the walls of the building.”


 

Would you like to know more about how to improve customer satisfaction in your hotel? 






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