Elfiq Networks Meets Guest Demands Cost Effectively

  • Elfiq Networks
  • 04.09.07
High-speed Internet access (HSIA) has now made significant penetration into the hospitality marketplace which has transitioned guest purchasing decisions to not only choosing hotels that have HSIA but making decisions based on the HSIA experience.

Hotels are now being forced to provide greater quality service to meet the increasing demands for bandwidth by the guest. Whether the hotel charges for HSIA or gives it away for free, often times the bandwidth costs to meet guests’ growing demand is not in the budget. Elfiq gives hotels options for utilizing less-expensive circuits or strategies for increasing bandwidth to a property.

As an example, the Marriott Mt. Laurel was completing a renovation from the Sheraton franchise to the Marriott franchise in early 2006. In the renovation, the property eliminated an old wired HSIA technology. To meet the demands of the changing clientele, the property installed a Cat5 wired solution to each room as well as a robust wireless solution throughout the property. To meet expectations of the guests for the new HSIA network, the hotel needed to provide significant bandwidth to the network and a proactive solution that met both the operational demands as well as the financial constraints.

The first step was to review and reconfigure the telecommunications facilities to reduce the expenses and meet the current hotels requirements. A conversion of  both voice T-1’s to dynamic allocation T-1’s giving the hotel the voice lines necessary (28 digital channels, two way DID) to operate while delivering two 1.5Mbps managed connections. By making this change, the hotel brought over $20,000.00 in annual cost savings back to the bottom-line.

The second step was to provide the bandwidth guests would expect from the new HSIA network. To accomplish this, Elfiq’s Link LB-1000 load balancing hardware solution was brought in to allow the property to increase bandwidth at a manageable cost. The hotel could not use both dynamic allocation T-1’s in combination with a low cost 6Mbps x 1Mbps cable connection for the guest rooms. The total solution gave the property a 9Mbps x 4Mbps guest connection.

In comparing the solution implemented to a traditional approach of two separate voice only T-1’s and two muxed data T-1s for a total 3Mbps solution, the payback period/return on investment would be only three months. This strategic difference is key because it gives hotels a new way of approaching their voice and data needs: with a fully integrated strategy -leveraging technology while reducing costs. More importantly, the solution implemented delivered the guest network much greater bandwidth (9Mbps x 4 Mbps versus only 3Mbps x 3Mbps) than could be cost effectively achieved through traditional methods, not to mention the higher guest satisfaction realized. 

The Elfiq solution has allowed the hotel to monitor traffic to continually load balance between the circuits with optimal performance. With one port open and three total ports for secondary bandwidth, the hotel has the capability to add additional bandwidth in the future as the guest demands change. Elfiq also provided the hotel redundant internet connections by using different providers for the bandwidth connections (the load balancer automatically reroutes traffic if a link fails or is temporarily out of service). The total solution was implemented in under three weeks. 

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