The right connections

We talk to the Radisson SAS Dubai about their latest network implementation.

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By  Brid-Aine Conway Published  November 18, 2007

Any hotel based in Dubai'sMedia City is going to have a high percentage of business clientele. And the business community is not going to be impressed with anything less than state of the art technology that gives them constant connectivity and access to communications.

Communication is the name of the game in the modern business world, both internally and customer-facing, and that was the main driver for the Radisson SAS to deploy Trapeze's Smart Mobile Technology throughout its two towers.

Dinto Joseph, the Radisson's IT manager, saw VoIP as the winning move in the communication game.

The RoI for the hotel industry, for a service-orientated company like a hotel, is that we need reachability and stability in our communications.

"As we are strategically located in the heart of DIC, DMC and Knowledge Village, our clientele are mostly business people, who need a secure and stable internet connection. We understand that internet is a basic service that should be free to the end user and this makes the demand for internet vital," he asserts.

The Radisson offers internet access to its guest in three modes - traditional dial-up, in-room high speed cable connection and wireless anywhere in the hotel. Joseph claims that retaining a dial-up connection is essential for enterprise travelers.

"We still offer dial-up so that customers can connect with their offices over an ordinary phone line; many hotels have stopped that service but it's still vital," he says.

But despite what free Wi-Fi access can do to inspire customer loyalty, a seamless wireless access network was not the only driver for the Radisson. The project will also see a return on investment because of the changes it makes in how the staff communicates, according to Joseph.

"We had some challenges that needed to be overcome, mainly because of GSM communication, where we had grey areas in the back of the house and the basement which were not covered by GSM. So we had the problem of coverage and also the spending on the GSM to reach hotel staff," he says.

"The RoI for the hotel industry, for a service-orientated company like a hotel, is that we need to have reachability and stability in our communications. In terms of money, when we started using the wireless IP phones we started saving on GSM calls - we can definitely get our money back in three years," he adds.

The Radisson was keen to start reaping the benefits of the project from the very start, which was why the network was implemented in one month, with most of the implementation taking place while the towers were built.

"We did the installations in tower one initially and then we started installations in tower two, which were scheduled as part of the tower two opening. And mainly we focused on the guest areas for phases one and two and then for the third phase we are focusing mainly on the VoIP - that was our main goal to have proper communications in the hotel for the employees," states Joseph.

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