Case Study: Diverse verticals benefit from WLAN
Radisson Delhi lures guests with WLAN
Hotel Radisson, New Delhi devised a unique way to lure clientele.
It offered its guests wireless access to the Internet in most of its public
areas. by Akhtar Pasha
The Radisson Hotel in New Delhi used to
provide dial-up access to its guests through a wall port in every guest room.
But this resulted in guests having to confine themselves to their rooms when
they wanted to access the Internet. In June 2003, the hotel decided to introduce
WLAN technology, which would provide guests access to the Internet from their
rooms and public areas, without having to connect a cable to a wall socket.
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- The company
Radisson Hotel, New Delhi is a busy 5-star hotel that attracts a large
domestic and international clientele.
- The need
The hotel was providing its guests dial-up access to the Internet through
a connection from a wall socket. This forced guests to confine themselves
to their rooms for accessing the Internet. Radisson wanted to provide
uninterrupted mobile connectivity to guests in every nook and corner
of the hotel.
- The solution
Around 60 access points were installed within the hotel premises, which
in turn were connected to power dividers and indoor range extenders
to ensure total coverage.
- The benefits
The hotel has observed a manifold increase in the number of guests.
It has seen a sharp rise in the total revenues of the hotel due to the
increased guest inflow. And post-implementation, guests do not have
to stay in their rooms to access the Internet.
Ronnie Lobo, General Manager, Radisson
Hotel Delhi explained, "WLAN does not bind a guest to the room as it facilitates
Internet connectivity on a laptop PC anywhere within the hotel premises. This
technology assists the guest in being mobile."
The whole process took one and a half months.
WLAN IS IMPLEMENTED
The solution was implemented in a month
and a half by Bangalore-based Convergent Communications by a team of six people.
And the total cost of the implementation was around Rs 50 Lakh. This included
building the infrastructure, laying cables, switches, routers, access points,
power dividers, and cost of manpower.
Cables from D-Link have been used to link
access points from ORiNOCO, Avaya and Proxin. The routers are from Cisco. Power
dividers and indoor range extenders manufactured by Convergent Communications
have been installed to enhance coverage of access points.
The WLAN is linked to the Network Usage
& Billing Server (NUB) manufactured by Convergent Communications, which
in turn is linked to the hotel's Property Management Server (PMS). The NUB keeps
track of network usage by guests. Whatever is registered at the NUB goes to
the PMS, which stores the complete details of a guest's expenditure incurred
during his or her stay at the hotel.
STAYING IN TOUCH
The biggest challenge for the implementation
team was to ensure that the guest stayed connected wherever he went within the
hotel premises. "And to ensure that, we made an elaborate design and installed
around 60 access points within the hotel premises. These in turn were connected
to power dividers and indoor range
extenders," said Wg. Cdr. MN Sridhara (Retd), Deputy General Manager projects
at Convergent Communications.
Beyond ensuring wireless coverage within
the hotel, it was equally important for Convergent Communications to provide
a secure network and to carry out the implementation without disturbing hotel
guests. For security there's a built-in firewall in the NUB, and the access
points have built-in firewall capabilities.
To manage the network, Convergent Communications
had a technical support person at Delhi who was available to provide first hand
technical support at short notice. The NUB is linked to Convergent Communications's
head office in Bangalore from where online support is provided.
BENEFITING THE BOTTOMLINE
Post-implementation, the hotel has observed
an increase in occupancy levels. Lobo said, "The number of guests coming in
has increased manifold after the implementation. We have also seen a sharp rise
in our total revenue."
The hotel has set up a cyber support team
to assist guests to help them operate their notebooks. Convergent Communications's
personnel have trained this hotel team.
DOWN THE LINE
After a successful WLAN implementation,
Radisson Delhi plans to go in for wireless VoIP, and printing on demand. The
hotel will provide guests with special wireless VoIP handsets that will be linked
to the WiFi system. These will help them make voice calls over the Internet.
Guests will be able to request for a wireless printer that will be connected
to the WiFi system, and this will let them print documents at any given location
within the hotel premises.
Akhtar Pasha can be reached at Akhtar@expresscomputeronline.com