European hotel chain boasts world's best Wi-Fi

A report issued by the company shows that the European hotel chain Nordic Choice is the world's leader in providing Wi-Fi for its guests and that U.S. hotel chains lag far behind their overseas counterparts.

The company reached its conclusions from data provided by travelers who used its web site to assess the quality of the Wi-Fi at their hotel. Travelers log on to HotelWiFiTest, which both measures the speed of a hotel's Internet connectivity and notes whether Wi-Fi is provided without additional charge.

A hotel judged as having adequate Wi-Fi must provide an expected download speed of at least 3 Mbps (the Netflix recommendation for SD-quality streaming) and an upload speed of 500 kbps (the Skype recommendation for high-quality non-HD video calling) to meet the company's standards.

For the report issued May 27, the company took the 25 most-tested hotel chains worldwide and sorted them according to Wi-Fi quality. Thus, some hotel chains did not appear on the list because they did not have enough tested hotels, not necessarily because of poor quality Wi-Fi. Further, the company pointed out, each position in the ratings is relative to the other most-tested hotel chains and not to all hotel chains.

According to the report, which is available here, Nordic Choice is the number one chain in the global rankings, with 85 percent of its hotels offering adequate Wi-Fi and 100 percent of its hotels offering free Wi-Fi. Radisson Blu, Renaissance, Mercure and Ibis and ibis style rounded out the top five European hotels.

The Wi-Fi offered at U.S. hotels was significantly lower in quality and quantity of free connectivity. Although Marriott Hotels & Resorts ranked Number One, fewer than half of its tested properties offered what the company considers adequate Wi-Fi, and only 17 percent of its properties offered free Wi-Fi. Westin, Hyatt Hotels, Sheraton and Best Western rounded out the top five U.S. hotel chains. 

In the U.S. overall, 85 percent of hotels offered free Wi-Fi, but only 35 percent of the Wi-Fi signals met the company’s quality standards. For comparison, 75 percent of European hotels offered free Wi-Fi, and 46 percent of hotel Wi-Fi signals met the quality standards. Figures for Asia closed the gap further, with 61 percent offering free Wi-Fi, and 50 percent of hotel signals achieving quality standards.

Business travelers know how important a fast Internet connection is when sending and receiving large files such as lengthy or graphics-heavy presentations. Whether meeting with a client one-on-one or presenting at a conference or other gathering, time is literally money. Further, as our readers know, Internet access is one of the things TheTravelPro measures during hotel stays. My observation has been that download speeds of 1 Mbps are fairly standard for hotels; anything much above that is a pleasant surprise. 

As we go father into the 21st century and become even more reliant on fast, dependable and economical connectivity, tools like will become ever more valuable.

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