In this third blog of the Smart Hospitality Networks series, we explore how smart rooms, room automation and IoT impact hotel networks.
Hotel rooms are private spaces for hotel guests. And when it comes to technology, guests want to enjoy the same level of services, or higher, than what they have in their homes: high-quality Wi-Fi for all their personal devices, content streaming on the TV, room automation control and easy access to hotel services, in complete security and privacy.
A hotel network that is well designed and deployed makes these services possible. Let’s see some important elements to consider when choosing the right network solution supporting your smart room strategy:
Let’s start with in-room Wi-Fi:
• Look for adapted in-room APs (such as the ALE AP1201H), which can provide broadband connectivity to all the wired and wireless room devices. This would include, for example, IP phone, IP TV or the room’s automated control unit, as well as to the guests’ devices, such as their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
• Look for state-of-the-art Wi-Fi technology to guarantee high speed and improved throughput for high quality real-time VoIP and video media, dedicated to the guests in the room.
• Look for user account isolation. This is a great feature that enables the creation of a guest private network, with several devices per account (the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise solution covers up to five), to guarantee guest privacy. The guests can benefit from their private network to stream content between their smartphone or tablet and the room IP TV, in total confidentiality.
Room automation and IoT
Today’s guestrooms are more connected than ever: they can be equipped with thermostats, lightning sensors, curtain controls, or even more sophisticated bed bug detectors in hotels that seek even greater differentiation. The hotel network needs to manage the traffic of all these connected devices and keep them secure. Trying to do this manually is simply impossible. IoT containment can be of great help in this case.
In-room automation is still an important wow factor, according to our Hospitality Technology Survey
An IoT containment strategy permits the onboarding of IoT devices to the hotel network, automatically and with enhanced security.
How does it work? First, the IoT device is classified through its unique signature using a fingerprinting database service in the cloud, with the signature of millions of IoT devices. Once classified, the type of device determines the network container to which the device must be connected. The container security profile defines several parameters for the device such as the level of network access, quality of service, allowed protocols, user access rights, and more. IoT containment simplifies the network deployment and operations, minimizing the risk that a cyber-attack could reach the hotel network.
If you’re offering room automation services to your guests and want to provide easy guest access, working with a converged vendor - providing both communications and networking - can simplify your life. Also consider a vendor that has the capacity to offer different - and ideally user friendly - user interfaces from which the guest can control room automation. This could be from a room control unit, to a digital room phone offering smart guest applications or cloud-based communications as a services adapted to the hospitality industry (CPaaS) integrated within your mobile hotel app, such as Alcatel-Lucent Rainbow™ for Hospitality.
Combining room automation data and a powerful IoT hub for great insights
Jeju Shinhwa World is the largest family resort and vacation center in South Korea. The Jeju CIO’s goal was to exceed guest expectations by providing a new and differentiated digital guest experience in an innovative, hospitality environment. ALE helped them achieve their goal by equipping the guestrooms with the Smart Deskphone 8088 and the smart guest hotel application, which includes a smart control system for adjusting the room temperature and lighting, together with an intuitive e-Concierge.
But the most interesting part of the Jeju story lies behind the scenes, behind the underlying infrastructure of OmniSwitch OS6450 LAN switches enabling the implementation of their differentiating guest services. An IoT Hub at the heart of the solution allows the hotel to have a full view on all the connected devices data, hotel services use, and supports the integration with any business or guest apps, smart objects, processes or data lakes, which will fuel future digital experiences at the resort.
Read the complete Jeju Shinhwa World customer story.
To learn more, Download the Hospitality Network Solution Guide