17 | 01 | 2018

Infrastructure: Hotel Wi-Fi


More and more travelers are carring portable devices when check in to hotels, they require Wi-Fi service more then ever in the past. Increasing number of guests in carrying more than one portable device so people are choosing hotel by "free wi-fi at room" apart from their service and charges. To provide 24hr non-stop reliable and high speed Internet connection, a robust Wi-Fi and network infrastructure is a must.

No single solution can apply to every hotels, ITSHK provides adaptive solution based on the requirements, environment and budget. Successful cases in two grant hotels in HongKong and Macau helps our understanding of how important the wi-fi facility is to guests or their mobile phone roaming charge will be terribly high.

 

Solution - DAS

Distributed Antenna System is a passive cabling system. By redirecting the RF signal into each guest rooms by cable to prevent signal lost by concret wall, glasses, marble and decorations, each room will have average Wi-Fi signal.

Pros:
- save large amount of cost at first installment of system hardware (AP, switch and cabling, controller scale and licensing) and upgrading in the future
- comfortable signal level (-65 to -80dB) but gaining the highest speed
- easier to manage and maintenance as access point located outside guest room
- no power supply required inside room for wi-fi

Cos:
- require conduit to access into the room
- only 1 spatial streams for each room, maximum speed at 802.11n (2.4GHz) is 150Mbps, at 802.11ac (5.8GHz) is 500Mbps

Powered by DAS, the AP can now put outside room but maintain high level of signal, ie. good user experience, and easier for maintenance too. And the total no. of AP required is 1/3 of orginal, result lowest cost at purchasing licensing for wireless controller.

 

Solution - BeamForming

Beam-Forming is a new technology used at 802.11n standard by some manufactories which the signal sent from AP only re-direct to the direction which the client located. This is helpful for wi-fi signal penetrate walls between guest rooms so that the client at next room still able to acquire enough signal rate for fast Internet access. BeamForming was included in the new 802.11AC standard.

Pros:
- save at least 1/2 hardware cost at first installation (AP, switch and cabling, controller scale and licensing) and upgrading in the future
- customer enjoy maximum number of spatial streams, i.e.. fully utilize the AP provided bandwidth.

Cos:
- strong signal at the AP co-exist room, some guests may feel uncomfortable
- require network cabling inside room ceiling
- very few manufactories in the market, i.e. higher price for purchase and maintenance
- no easy for maintenance as AP inside guest room

BeamForming products are very useful to hotel to cover as many rooms as possible in order to save hardware cost and minimize infrastructure scale. This requires detail site survey before design the network.

 

Other Solutions

There are few other options for hotels that "cabling is not an option" and require "quick installation" and "no impact to room leasing".

HomePlug make use of existing power line as a path for modulated high voltage signal to transfer and demodulate at other end(guest room power socket). HomePlug adapter is very easy to install and replace but require an workstation for 24 hours monitoring to avoid stolen. As HomePlug share same transport media, the bandwidth is shared with all user in same zone or floor which depends on the design of power line distribution of hotel, est. 5Mbps per user.


Travel Router is frequently used by travelers who must have Wi-Fi access in hotel room for mobile devices. Travel router is small in size, and very low cost but less management option. Power supply and network cabling are required.