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For several years now, SVoD platforms (Netflix, OCS, MyCanal) have been gaining significant market share from “linear” TV. This trend is only going to increase, with the number of French people subscribing to an SVoD programme estimated at over 10.4 million by 2023*. The French hotel market has over 18,000 hotels, with no less than 650,000 rooms and almost as many TV screens. This represents a massive TV budget for hotel operators who are as frustrated as their customers (mostly millennials) to find that they are unable to use their hotel room TV screen to watch their SVoD content, and always resort to watching their favourite series on a smartphone or tablet instead.
For this reason, Wifirst is launching "Stream & Cast", a solution that brings customers back to the TV experience provided by the hotel. "Stream & Cast" enables the hotel operator to amortise their TVs while increasing customer satisfaction. The Wifirst solution uses Google’s Chromecast, a dongle that connects to the WiFi and allows customers to watch content on the hotel room TV screen just like they do at home.
We are delighted to officially announce the launch of our “Stream & Cast” product offering. Hotel establishments that already use it have been won over and have shared the positive feedback from customers rating it highly on Booking and Tripadvisor. This solution is meeting a real, strong expectation on the part of travellers. Etienne Détrie, Head of Marketing at Wifirst
In a hotel, Google Chromecast won’t work simply by plugging it in. In fact, since it was initially designed for the general public using a broadband router, this Google product is not compatible with a shared WiFi network in a hotel setting. For this reason, the Wifirst R&D teams have developed first-of-a-kind technology by setting up a private WiFi network for each hotel room. Wifirst Room Area Network (RAN) is the foundation that provides a private, secure WiFi connection which is essential for using Google Chromecast. To make this happen, Wifirst relies on the expertise it has been developing since 2002: on-site WiFi assessment by experts, installation of latest generation WiFi terminals, 5GHz frequency coverage, internet connection via the Wifirst core network, 24/7 monitoring and customer service, etc.
It’s 8.30am, you start watching season 2 of your favourite series on the underground and finish the episode during your lunch break. The same day you’re staying in a hotel on a business trip. Thanks to Wifirst’s “Stream & Cast” you can keep viewing without any interruption. In the evening you simply need to connect to the hotel room’s private WiFi network to carry on watching the episode on your room’s TV screen from where you left off.
*source Digital TV Research (September 2018)