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Wireless connectivity

Hotel Business 6 February 2017
Wireless connectivity
John Spindler

John Spindler of Zinwave

Hotels depend on constant communications for cost-effective and timely operations – and those communications are increasingly conducted through mobile devices, says John Spindler of Zinwave.

Hotel workforces need to be reachable at all times, often through text or voice calls, while first responders and in-house security teams need support from wireless systems during public safety emergencies, usually by using public safety radios, two-way radios and mobile phones. To put it simply, hotels must provide wireless coverage for all means of communication. However, back-of-the-house areas often receive poor wireless services from outside sources because modern mobile frequencies do not easily penetrate building walls.

To overcome this, hotels are increasingly turning towards small cell architecture, such as wideband distributed antenna systems (DAS), for uniform wireless coverage through back-of-the house areas. DAS can also be used to offer wireless access for guests’ mobile devices when antennas are deployed in public areas such as lobbies, restaurants and meeting rooms. In fact, many hotels choose to cover public areas when they deploy a back-of-the-house DAS because the benefit to guests is large and the incremental cost is relatively small. DAS essentially uses a network of antennas connected to a head-end and radio source – such as a repeater or base station – that deliver radio frequencies to designated areas. In a typical setup, the radio source and head-end are located in the hotel’s telecommunications or IT room, while the remote units/antennas, connected via fibre or coaxial cabling, are placed in the ceiling in areas to be covered

Ultimately, wireless service in hotels is as important a utility as water and electricity – and DAS helps to deliver a ubiquitous service that enables operational efficiency. After all, the name of the game in a hotel is customer service, and when employees can communicate quickly and effectively, services will benefit and guests are happy.