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.

 

We created this thread in our forums please post questions there

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 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 high powered business class Wi-Fi solution. The EnGenius ECB350 and EnGenius EAP350 are 800mW 11n access points with gigabit ethernet. The coverage is 3-times greater than consumer wireless routers and more powerful than the 100mW 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 also support the free EnGenius EZ controller software for management and monitoring.  There is also an outdoor version, EnGenius ENH210 EXT which can extend the wireless network outdoors or be used to bridge remote buildings. 

With a flood of dual band clients coming on the market every day like iPhone5, iPad, Samsung Galaxy IIIs and Microsoft Surface it is a good idea to boost you capacity with a dual band AP like the indoor EAP600 or outdoor ENH700EXT.  Users are now carrying 3 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 Airmagnet survey pro with the capability of displaying coverage on a map .

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 EnGenius ECB350 can be mounted to a wall or position above drop ceilings with little signal loss by using the keyholes located on the bottom of the unit.   The EnGenius EAP350 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  ECB350 in 20Hhz 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 150ft of Ethernet cable can be ran from the PoE injector to the AP. 

 

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.  And the ESG1005 5 port gigabit switch can be used to connect extra access points.

 

 

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 ENH200.  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 ENH700EXT can be used.  The main ENH700EXT  would be put in access point mode on the 2.4Ghz radio and WDS AP mode 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 ENH700EXT's will have the 5Ghz radio in WDS AP 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 list the 5Ghz WiFi MAC address of the other units in each ENH700EXT to use WDS mode.  Back in the office a ESR9850 gigabit router will be used to provide Internet connectivity to the access points Ethernet port.

 

 

 

In the last example we have a hotel with guest rooms, bar and a pool areas.  The EnGenius ECB350 can be used in the indoor locations wired back to the   ESR9850 gigabit router in the office for Internet connectivity.  In the outdoor areas the two EnGenius ENH210EXT's  one can be wired into the building and the other can be used in WDS repeater mode extending WiFi into the pool area without wires.  

 

 

We created this thread in our forums please post questions there