Why Hoteliers Turn to Passive Optical LAN to Achieve Superior Guest Ratings
Guests at hotels and resort properties have high expectations for secure, reliable access to communication services, both wired and wireless. Robust networks are at the heart of hospitality operations, supporting critical resort and hotel management systems. Now there’s a great opportunity to improve guest service quality and simplify how the network operates with Passive Optical LAN (POL). This fiber-based solution delivers dramatically faster, more efficient, sustainable, cost-effective, scalable and the best performing network experience versus traditional copper-based infrastructures.
Optical LAN outperforms copper-based LANs
When updating or building new hospitality properties, a fiber optic-based LAN solution is a better choice than copper-based LANs for the following reasons:
- Better bandwidth capacity
- Operational efficiencies for IT staff
- Compact design requires less space
- Network convergence over fiber
Better bandwidth capacity — Fiber optical cabling, such as singlemode fiber (SMF), has no theoretical bandwidth limit. This cannot be said for copper cabling. Today SMF has proven to support 101 Tbps,1 but that ceiling is only an artificial limit based on electronic transmission technology available today. POL delivers Gigabit-rate speeds for property operation management and guest communications access.
Operational efficiencies for IT staff — Hotel IT staff benefits from POL’s operational efficiencies associated with centralized network management and simpler troubleshooting. POL’s network management promotes automation with software configured global policy profiles for machine-to-machine actions that limit human-to-machine actions in support thousands of smart building and IoT endpoints across a hotel property.
Compact design requires less space — The POL solution reduces the space required to deploy and maintain the network in a number of ways. The architecture requires fewer active electronics and uses smaller equipment. That means less power is needed at the main data center. There’s also no longer a need for a large telecom room, so hotels can convert that space savings to revenue generating purposes – like larger or additional guest rooms.
Networks convergence over fiber — Historically, LAN networks were built with separate physical equipment and cable infrastructure to support voice, video and data services. Additional infrastructure was required for wireless, environmental controls, building automation, and security networks. POL with fiber optic cabling converges all services on one network. This is inclusive for voice, video, data, wireless, building automation, building security, building environmental controls, back office and guest services.
Achieving Superior Guest Ratings and Business Success with POL
Modern travelers are technically savvy, and if expectations are not met, online guest reviews can impact repeat business. The guest experience is overwhelming determined by the performance of their online network connectivity. Often hotel and resort, owners and operators, especially the regional players, do not have the network infrastructure nor the IT staff to assure the utmost highest degree of network performance for their guests. With the prevalence of online hospitality rating information (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor) available to modern travelers, this immediately and directly impacts the properties ability to attract new and repeat bookings. Maintaining a positive image online is imperative – that means maintaining positive ratings on guest network connectivity experience.
This was the environment of the hospitality industry when local hotel management broke ground on the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in the Dayton Ohio. The goal was to design and build a modern, high-performance network that would exceed guests’ online expectations. It was no surprise that POL fiber-based local area network infrastructure was chosen. Not only is POL based on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON), and advanced Ethernet technologies, but it also is a technology favored by Marriott International, which is a proponent of Fiber-to-the-Room networks based on G-PON.
Fast forward a couple of years and the newly opened SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Dayton is ranked in the top 1 percent of all SpringHill Suites by Marriott for customer satisfaction surveys. The big contributor and key unique differentiator is guests’ connectivity experience driven by POL. In hindsight, the local management company attributes this success to four main benefits of POL being:
- Converged Network Over Fiber
- Network Simplicity for Operational Efficiencies
- High-Speed Connectivity for Both Guests and Staff
- Built-in Network Scalability and Capacity for the Future
Fast fiber-optic network connectivity achieves highest customer satisfaction results
Hotels and resort properties are constantly challenged to deliver secure, reliable access to communications services for their guests and staff. The thirst for online speed, bandwidth and content continues to grow for modern travelers. When expectations are not met while visiting your property, online reviews can impact future business. The hotelier’s goal is to achieve best in class online speed, bandwidth and content delivery demanded by modern travelers. For many savvy hoteliers, the selection of POL solution, can result in them standing out among the best hotels for online performance.
John Hoover is a Marketing Director at Tellabs and Board Director of the Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN). Over the past 15 years, John has influenced industry milestones such as early passive optical network deployments, video implementations, wireless and more recently enterprise Passive Optical LAN adoption.