Owners of boutique hotels are to be targeted by a new Wi-Fi service across South Africa, allowing them to meet one of the most important requirements of guests.

WiFi provider VAST Networks announced it has partnered with UK-based WiFi Solutions MyAirangel, to provide "a cloud-based WiFi platform and a suite of marketing tools to the South African hospitality industry". MyAirangel is a cloud-based guest WiFi platform solution focused on key segments of the hospitality industry.

Through the partnership, the two companies say they will provide an easy-to-manage interface and reporting dashboard to boutique hotels and B&Bs across SA, where guests can login in to WiFi services via a branded portal, without having to complete login forms, according to a report by www.itweb.co.za

It says: "The solution also has a system where guests can connect all devices allowing them to stream content to the Smart TV or Chromecasts (The hotel home experience). The platform also offers a guest engagement facility whereby the hotel's services can be promoted to guests via menus that automatically appear in the guest's Internet browser.

Grant Marais, CEO of VAST Networks, told www.itweb.co.za: "Working with MyAirangel ensures that we provide visitors with world-class WiFi services that match the amazing experiences SA has to offer and that tourists have come to expect and deserve."

"Wi-Fi is seen as an essential service in hotels by the majority of visitors," says Christine Davidson, Vice President of dmg-ems Africa, which organises The Hotel Show Africa 2017.

In a 2015 survey hotel chain Amba Hotels found that 67 per cent of guests thought free Wi-Fi was the most important factor when choosing a hotel - more important even than a good night’s sleep, which came in at 58 per cent, and friendly, knowledgeable staff, at 40 per cent.

VAST Networks formed in 2015 by bringing together the WiFi assets of two key market players: MWeb and Internet Solutions. Its locations include premium malls; hotels; central transport hubs, including major airports and railway nodes; hospitals; restaurants; and leisure and entertainment venues across South Africa.

In August it announced a deal with US phone provider AT&T for its users to roam on VAST Networks' WiFi at any of its over 2,000 locations across the country (Full story HERE)

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