The mobile phenomenon and bring-your-own-device movement is nothing new to the hotel industry, but the ways by which hotel technology experts are analyzing and building solutions is shifting. It’s no longer OK to be reactive and simply clamor to offer guests more bandwidth, said speakers at Hotel Technology Next Generation’s annual North American conference in late February. Instead, today’s hotel information technology managers must think ahead of the curve and use guest mobilization as an opportunity to connect and monetize the guest. Bob Friday, chief technology officer of Cisco Systems’ wireless networking group, said the industry is witnessing the collision of two worlds: mobile voice (cellular) and mobile data (Wi-Fi). “Over the next two decades we are going to be on the mission to take all the traffic on the Internet and mobilize it. That’s a cause of pain for many in this room,” he told the audience of about 300. The effect on hoteliers is substantial, he said. As coffee shops were once the expected “hot spot,” now hotels are looked at as a place where travelers should receive safe, reliable, inexpensive Internet access. “You’re being asked to be a mobile operator and a service provider in your hotel,” Friday said. “Just like AT&T and Verizon, you’re being asked to provide services to your guests. That (digital subscriber line) is no longer adequate.” Get the full story at