Wireless convergence in the hospitality industry

Over the past decade, hotels across the globe have supported an increasing number of wireless devices and systems for both guests and staff. These include a range of smart devices such as door locks, kiosks, thermostats, speakers and TVs, as well as security cameras and panic buttons. Although some smart devices connect to Wi-Fi, many others rely on other forms of wireless protocols such as Zigbee, LoRa or Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE).

Hospitality

Unifying multiple wireless protocols in hospitality 

The introduction of multiple wireless standards in the hospitality space has forced hotels to deploy at least two or three networks to support a diverse lineup of devices. In many cases, a specific hotel network will only support a single smart device or application. This drives up costs and complexity, while creating a challenging network environment for the implementation of new smart devices and applications.

Unifying multiple wireless protocols – such as Wi-Fi, BLE, Zigbee and LoRa – within a single access point (AP) enables hotels to save physical space and streamline secure device onboarding. Moreover, a converged AP allows hotel IT staff to more easily view, manage and secure an entire wireless infrastructure with a single pane of glass. This facilitates network automation, the generation of actionable analytics and the creation of custom dashboards with open APIs.

In addition, a converged AP can support Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), which enables hotels to create their own private LTE networks and provide reliable mobile coverage throughout an entire property. This is particularly important in the hospitality sector, as hotels are increasingly relying on secure and pervasive LTE and Wi-Fi coverage to access internal applications in support of the guest experience.

The Ruckus R730 Access Point

The Ruckus R730 – which is specifically designed to function as a converged access point – supports multiple wireless protocols, thereby allowing hotels to deploy a single network to support Wi-Fi and other IoT wireless standards. Indeed, the R730 AP packs embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee radios, along with support for IoT modules that accommodate additional physical layer protocols such as LoRa. With the Ruckus IoT controller, hotels can converge disparate networks and associated IoT endpoints into a single, easily managed network.

It is also important to note that the R730 accommodates modular Ruckus LTE APs operating in the U.S. Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) 3.5 GHz band, enabling existing Wi-Fi APs to provide LTE service. Using modular or stand-alone LTE APs, hotels will be able to build their own private LTE networks to improve the quality of indoor cellular service across an entire property.

Conclusion

It is essential for hotels to provide a fast, reliable and ubiquitous wireless experience for their guests, who expect the same level of technological integration and seamless wireless connectivity they have at home. In short, everything needs to ‘just work.’ The R730, which converges multiple wireless protocols into a single, reliable network, enables guest devices and hotel wireless infrastructure to do just that.    

Dean Compoginis
Dean Compoginis

Vertical Marketing Director, Hospitality and MDU. Some “Fun Facts” about me: • Surfing is my favorite form of exercise • “I love you, Dad” is absolutely my favorite sound • My favorite album is “The White Album”. Yes, I’m that old • I wish I could say I’m a good dancer, but there’s bad, worse, worser, then me • Which makes “Dancing for Dummies” my favorite book

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