Kempinski boosts wi-fi to meet guest expectations

Kempinski chose Aruba networks to implement a hotel wide wi-fi upgrade that included implementing in-room IPTV and connected mini-bars.

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Kempinski boosts wi-fi to meet guest expectations Kempinski Mall of the Emirates partnered with Aruba to implement a hotel wide, full coverage wireless network.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  May 18, 2013

Kempinski chose Aruba networks to implement a hotel wide wi-fi upgrade that included implementing in-room IPTV and connected mini-bars.

Kempinski Mall of the Emirates has implemented a hotel-wide wireless network upgrade that not only allows guests to connect multiple devices to the network, but also allows the hotel to run IPTV and connected mini-bars in each room.

The Problem:
When Kempinski started the hotel in 2005, and when it began operating in early 2006, very few devices connected to wireless, in fact there were very few laptops that even came with connectivity. Hotel guests utilised wired connections through their laptops to access the internet.

“We did implement wireless, but it was not really designed for the kind of environment that we are experiencing today. We ended up having a few access points in the corridors covering the rooms on both sides. During recent years there was a lot of issues with the coverage because people always want to be connected, they have devices in their pocket and they expect it to be connected all the time,” said Prasanna Rupasinghe, director if IT & AV at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.

All of the hotel’s guests wanted to be wirelessly connected across multiple devices 24 hours a day and the legacy network was not equipped to cater to this demand, which can reach to thousands of devices connected time during busy periods.

“When the guest went to the room we had a lot of complaints that the wireless was not stable or they did not have coverage in certain areas of the room. Some people were using their devices in the bath to read the newspaper and could not get Wi-Fi,” said Rupasinghe.

The hotel has a lot of families visiting and some rooms can have up to nine guests, each with multiple personal devices that need to be connected and the hotel was unable to cope with the demand. Another issue that the hotel faces is a lack of seamless coverage, there were spots in the hotel that guests could not get coverage on their devices.

Not only that, but administration applications that used to be on the wired network had evolved on to the wireless network to improve productivity and efficiency, and the Kempinsky legacy network was unable to handle the demand.

The solution:
Kempinski Mall of the Emirates had to find a wireless network solution that was designed specifically to address high density environments such as a hotel or hospital environment to ensure that their guests to have 24 hour full Wi-Fi coverage.

“We were looking for wireless access points specifically designed to go into a hotel room. When we looked, there were not many choices. What we wanted was a custom solution made for a hotel environment that gives multi-service architecture because we were doing a retrofit. It should be something that you can install and then hide if you need to and should be easy to install with the existing infrastructure,” said Rupasinghe.

The hotel was also looking at enabling additional services alongside the new wireless infrastructure, such as administrative apps like wireless check in and check out, more personalized services through the use of iPad applications in housekeeping and things like IP telephont, IPTV and connected mini bars.

“We saw that it was more efficient being able to work on mobile and work mobile rather than sitting at one desk. For example housekeeping carry an iPad and when they go to a room they know which guest is staying in that room, their background, their preferences, etc. So before you go into the room because you are able to see the guest details and give personalised sevices such as a specific type of pillow,” said Rupasinghe.

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