Deploying WiFi in the Hospitality Industry including Hotels, Condos and Apartments

 

If you are a hotel operator looking for a installer we will get you in contact with a systems integrator in your area. 

If you are a systems integrator purchasing directly from us we can send you leads in your area.

 

Visit our facebook group for help with hotel Wi-Fi please post questions there

Contact us for more questions or price quotes

keenanj@keenansystems.com

860 748 4110 

Wi-Fi is changing the hospitality industry. It is shifting the way hotels run business and market themselves ó and frequently itís a key factor in how guests decide where to stay and whether theyíll come back.

Hotel Managers know they need to offer Wi-Fi to their customers, however they are also very cost conscience. 

This creates a set of opportunities and challenges for the systems integrator doing the installation and ongoing support for these networks. 

Many hotel operators first attempt to use consumer products such as Ubiquity, Linksys, D-Link & Netgear Wi-Fi equipment. Quickly the hotel manager and system integrator realize that SOHO routers, which are designed to support 1-3 users with low powered radios (under 50mW), just donít perform well in this type of environment. 

Keenan Systems can now offer network systems integrators a centrally managed high powered business class Wi-Fi solution. The  EnGenius Neutron Manged EWS360AP are 800mW 11ac access points with gigabit ethernet. The coverage is 3-times greater than consumer wireless routers and more powerful than the 400mW enterprise class access points from Cisco Systems. The units are feature rich and includes multiple SSID, VLAN tagging, SNMP and Power Over Ethernet for flexible deployment.  They can be managed by any of the engenius EWS switches like the EWS5912FP which can also power the AP's via PoE and provide gigabit connectivity. The EnGenius Neutron Manged EWS360AP also supports the free Engenius EZmaster virtual appliance for management and monitoring of larger networks.  There is also an outdoor version EnGenius EWS860AP which can extend the wireless network outdoors or be used to bridge remote buildings. 

 

With a flood of 802.11ac dual band clients coming on the market every day like iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Microsoft Surface it is a good idea to boost you capacity with a dual band 802.11ac AP's like the indoor EWS360AP  or outdoor EWS860AP.  Users are now carrying 5 plus devices that need access to fast WiFi.  By offering them the 5Ghz band you are doubling capacity and eliminating dropped connections you might see on 2.4Ghz band.  If you have a situation with many users in one place like a outdoor bar or indoor conference room a dual band AP will fix a slow WiFi situation.

Environment is always a factor when discussing wireless connectively. The hotelís construction, size and location are some contributing factors, which will determine the wireless coverage for each hotel. These factors determine how radio frequencies travel through and around obstacles which will vary for every hotel installation. 

The first step of any successful installation is a site survey you at a minimum need spectrum analyzer like the Wi-Spy DBx  to determine if the air is noise free and to do channel allocation.  For more advanced site survey we recommend Ekahau Site Survey Pro with the capability of displaying coverage on a heat map of your floorplan.  Ekahau Site Survey Pro  also has a sophisticated predictive site planner so you can determine how many AP's your hotel will need with just a floor plan see example below

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Below are sample hotel configurations:

Concrete walls with metal rebar pose the biggest problems for WiFi coverage so positioning the access points in a central hallway is usually best. The EWS360AP is a smoke detector like device that can be ceiling mounted it fits into any area.  The access points in the below diagram should be configured on non overlapping channels 1, 6 and 11. For the maximum coverage put the  EWS360AP in 20MHz only mode and select maximum power under advanced wireless.   The SSID of all access points can be set to the same this allow seamless roaming so users can walk from one area to another. Power Over Ethernet, which provides power and data to the access point, allow system integrators to conveniently install the access points anywhere in the hotel. Approximately 300ft of Ethernet cable can be run from the PoE switch or injector to the AP. 

When using a neutron switch to manage the network you also add features like captive portal authentication, seamless roaming and  channel and power adjustment.  You can also control the entire network from one web interface whether you are local or remote to the site.

 

Engenius now has a full line of smoke detector style products including routers and switches they all blend in and have the same style to prevent tampering. The ESR600 gigabit pod router can be easily installed at the main office to provide Internet connectivity. 

Engenius also has a wall plate AP the EWS510AP this combines a wired 4 port gigabit switch and a dual band 11ac wave 2 AP in one.  If your hotel is prewired with cat5e ethernet in the walls to each room these will make install a snap.    These are also good to use if you have a heavy stone or metal walls where hallway mounted AP's will not penetrate into the rooms.

 

 

 

In the example below we have a floor plan with open balconies and large windows.  In this situation it is sometime easier to use outdoor access points like the  EnGenius ENH202 Power over ethernet is used to supply power and data from the indoor wiring closet. The access point can be pole mounted in the courtyard outside the rooms again on non overlapping channels 1,6 and 11 and will cover 1-3 floors. 

 

 

 

In the example below we have a high end resort, apartment or condo WiFi example with remote buildings.  It may be expensive to run Ethernet between buildings in this case the Dual Radio EWS860AP with meshing can be used.  The main EWS860AP  would be put in access point mode on the 2.4Ghz radio with mesh backhaul on the 5Ghz radio,  The 5Ghz radio will be used to connect to the remote access points while the 2.4Ghz radio can be used for user connection around the office.  The remote EWS860AP will have the 5Ghz radio in mesh mode to connected back to the main AP and for 5Ghz clients to connect to,  While the 2.4Ghz radio is used for client access.   The SSID of the remote buildings can be different or the same as the office,  The 5.8Ghz SSID should be different and named something like "fast WiFi" so 5Ghz clients will connect to it first. You must use the EWS860AP with a neutron switch like the  EWS5912FP for Wi-Fi meshing.

 

 

 

 

In the last example we have a hotel with guest rooms, bar and a pool areas.  The EWS360AP can be used in the indoor locations wired back to the EWS5912FP management switch with PoE and ESR600  gigabit router in the office for Internet connectivity.  In the outdoor areas the two  EWS860AP  one can be wired into the building and the other can be used in mesh mode extending WiFi into the pool area without wires.  

 

 

 

Contact us for more questions or price quotes

keenanj@keenansystems.com

860 748 4110