Makkah Clock Royal Tower hotel deploys Aruba wireless network
New solution provides high-speed internet across 76 floors of hotel
The Fairmont Group of Hotels & Resorts recently deployed an Aruba Networks wireless infrastructure at its Makkah Clock Royal Tower hotel in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
The new Wi-Fi solution provides guests and staff at the hotel with secure, seamless, high-speed, wireless internet access across the 76 floors of the hotel, Fairmont said in a statement. According to the hotel, the infrastructure was deployed to meet the demands of peak seasons.
"As one of the premier properties in the Holy City, our hotel regularly hosts thousands of guests and between these hotel guests and staff, at any time we may have up to 25,000 connections to the wireless network via laptops, iPads and smart devices," said Mohamed Mahmoud, IT director at Makkah Clock Royal Tower.
"Furthermore, during peak seasons, particularly Hajj, the number of connections can spike by up to 99%. We needed an infrastructure that could handle the increasing volume of devices while delivering the consistent speed and performance that our customers and our staff expect."
According to Fairmont, this was a first-time installation. The hotel said that it vetted the leading wireless network vendors and settled on Aruba Networks, due to the vendor's track record at other brand hotels across the region and performance during testing.
Working with DSP, Aruba Networks' partner in the region, the IT team at Makkah Clock Royal Tower installed Aruba's Series 6000 Mobility Controller and 1,175 of Aruba's AP-105 Access Points over a three month period.
"One of the key features of the Aruba solution is the superior radio performance which allows for saturated coverage at much higher data rates," said Mohamed Raafat, technical services manager at DSP.
"This reduction in the number of ‘dark spots', allowed us to deploy the minimum number of Access Points which in turn reduced total project cost and installation time, without compromising network capabilities - a win for both the hotel and guests."
As a result of the installation, guests and staff are able to connect multiple devices, enjoy seamless connectivity anywhere in the hotel and utilise bandwidth-hungry applications. With the hotel-wide wireless infrastructure in place, the hotel management team also saw an opportunity to improve internal communication. The hotel has now issued mobile communication devices that allow the staff to communicate instantly with each other as and when is necessary. According to Fairmont, this has improved staff productivity and response time to guest issues.
Meanwhile, the Series 6000 Mobility Controller allows the IT department to make quick changes to the network and security settings from the controller's centralised GUI. The hotel also opted for Aruba's AirWave software, which allows the IT department to monitor, in real-time, each and every device connected to the network, meaning the team can spot trends and proactively troubleshoot any problems in the network prior to them affecting users.