The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has enlisted mobile networking company Ruckus Wireless to supply it with a range of Wi-Fi products and technologies.
Under terms of the deal, Ruckus Wireless is providing Mandarin Oriental wireless high-speed internet connectivity through its ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi products and technologies, and is being used as the foundation for converged services.
The luxury hotel company has either installed or is considering the Wi-Fi system in a number of its hotels in Asia including Tokyo, Manila, Jakarta, Sanya, and Hong Kong.
In Manila, for instance, Mandarin Oriental has deployed a single smart Wi-Fi network with some 200 indoor Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi APs to support guest wireless access as well as in-house communication for hotel staff equipped with SpectraLink VoIP over Wi-Fi phones.
Guest wireless access in Mandarin Oriental hotels averages from 60% to 80% usage, as guests increasingly travel with a myriad of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, according to a press statement issued by Ruckus Wireless.
“Wi-Fi is much more than an amenity for our hotels; it is a fundamental part of the technology infrastructure, a core part of the hotel product and, importantly, a key expectation from a significant percentage of our guests,” said Nick Price, CIO/CTO, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. “Good Wi-Fi is also not an option, nor is it an accident. It takes knowledge, research, time and some considerable effort to deliver - but what a difference it makes. At Mandarin Oriental we install the best Wi-Fi technologies that we can find to offer the very best possible Wi-Fi service to our guests. Ruckus is a core component of the Mandarin Oriental Wi-Fi solution.”
“Hotels are highly dynamic environments where delivering actionable information to the point of need quickly and reliably is fundamental to the provision of good customer service,” added Price. “Guests are mobile, our employees are mobile, and therefore our business application portfolio must also be mobile. Much of our effort is directed towards mobile applications today, and this will only increase into the future. A wireless infrastructure that can be secured for simultaneous use by both guest internet access and hotel guest service applications is a key driver in our success, and it positions us well for the future.”
According to Ruckus Wireless, the contract with Mandarin Oriental is only the latest in a spree of new contracts it has won from the hospitality sector.
The US firm says it witnessed explosive growth in the hospitality sector in the first quarter, signing 65 new customers in just 60 days.
“Hotels view IP-based services, not just wireless Internet access, as strategic to their future,” said Ted Watson, global director of Hospitality Solutions for Ruckus Wireless. “Almost anything you can imagine in a hotel room can be controlled over an IP network. This creates enormous benefits and economies of scale for hotels and their guests. But for this vision to become a reality, the wireless network must operate as predictably as any utility.”
Watson noted that a number of hotel properties are now migrating to higher-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi with services being migrated including: in-room device controls, voice-over-Wi-Fi for inter-departmental communications, IP-based HD video on demand, digital advertising, service optimization and wireless POS devices.