Converged Networks in Hotels: A Cost Effective Solution to In-Demand Guest Needs
By Mark Holzberg Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Hotel Technology Solutions, Inc. | May 19, 2010
In this increasingly competitive industry, a critical point of differentiation in guest services is technology. Are you able to offer the types of digital, Internet protocol-based services that your guests want, including wired and wireless high speed Internet access (HSIA), telephone service, HD TV/video service, and a variety of room controls?
There is a cost-effective solution to providing what guests want today and also accommodating needs that will likely arise in the future. It's called a converged network.
If you could look behind the walls and into the ceilings of many of the world's hotels you would see a 1990s-style "information superhighway" that costs more, requires multiple vendors to fix problems, and makes it difficult to expand or add new applications.
This type of network infrastructure typically has multiple runs of cable side by side going into guest rooms for Internet, telephone and video - a mixed bag of copper and coax each supporting a separate product from various vendors on separated networks.
And then there is also what you don't see, all of which also represent high costs to the hotel owner and the possibility of poor service to the guests: wireless Internet access that originates primarily in the hallways and covers only part of each guest room; large amounts of electricity needed to power the switches and routing equipment; no central management or monitoring; and limited bandwidth (a barrier for future applications such as high definition television).
The solution is not another superhighway but a single roadway, also known as a converged network.