Fast Fiber-Optic Network Provides Hoteliers Superior Guest Ratings

by | Jun 4, 2018 | Case Study

UberData Networks uses Tellabs Optical LAN for fast fiber-optic network connectivity at SpringHill Suites by Marriott that rewards hotelier with highest customer satisfaction results.

Modern travelers are technically savvy, and if expectations are not met, online guest reviews can impact repeat business. The guest experience on your property is overwhelmingly 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 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 property’s 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 Middletown Hotel Management (MHM) broke ground on their SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Dayton Ohio. UberData Networks was selected to design and build a modern high-performance network that would exceed guest online expectations. UberData Networks recommended the Tellabs Optical LAN (OLAN) fiber-based local area network infrastructure. MHM knew that Tellabs OLAN was based on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON), and advanced Ethernet technologies, but with a little investigation they discovered that Marriott International was a proponent of Fiber-to-the-Room networks currently based on G-PON.

Fast forward a couple of years: the newly opened SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Dayton is ranked in the top 1% of all SpringHill Suites by Marriott for customer satisfaction surveys. The main contributor, and key unique differentiator, is their guests’ connectivity experience driven by the Passive Optical LAN. MHM attributes this success to four main benefits of Passive Optical LAN:

  • 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

Converged Network over Fiber

When MHM got their start back in the 1990s and grew their business successfully through the 2000s, their typical hotel network consisted of three disparate infrastructures – different equipment, cabling and management. The telephones were connected over twisted pair copper cabling. The cable TV service was connected to the TV monitors using Coax copper cabling. And, the data network was built with Category 3 (CAT) and then Category 5 (CAT5) copper cabling. Simple math tells us that the network was approximately 3 times more expensive to install, operate, power and cool, and it occupied 3 times the building space. The reality is the legacy copper-based networks were exponentially worse due to a negative rippling effect that impacted their security, reliability, and operational efficiencies. Ultimately, the guest experience suffered.

For the Dayton (Beavercreek) hotel, one Tellabs 1131 Optical Line Terminal (OLT) was installed in the main data room that has the capacity to deliver over 500 gigabit Ethernet ports over Single Mode Fiber (SMF) cabling and Passive Optical Network (ODN) splitters. This OLAN design converged the hotel’s voice, smart IPTV, high-speed internet, Wi-Fi and security networks over one fiber-based infrastructure.

“The guests love the benefits of this technology. At this property, our customer satisfaction scores are extremely high for high-speed Internet wireless performance and our smart IPTVs,” said Bob Ritter, Vice President of Operations at Middletown Hotel Management.


Simplicity for Operational Efficiencies

Like most regional hospitality management companies, MHM operates their business with a lean and optimized staff. Their 25 years of hotel management experience is invaluable, but they do not maintain full-time internal IT staff or project management staff. MTM relied on Apachi Networks for project management and low voltage infrastructure solutions and UberData Networks for their turn-key IT integrator services to plan and build an IT network that is easy for them to operate.

The Tellabs Optical LAN design is ideal for small and medium sized regional hotels because of its simplicity and operational efficiencies. First, the Passive Optical LAN architecture eliminates the need for telecommunication closets spread out across the hotel. The OLAN design also reduces the amount of cabling in the building risers and horizontal pathways. Best of all, an OLAN system has centralized intelligence and management; therefore, with one screen and minimal clicks, the entire hotel network can be managed from a single remote Tellabs Panorama™ PON Manager console.

“The concept of no longer needing telecommunications closets presents some unique business benefits. Today with no IT equipment in the telecom closets, we can use that space for the guest service storage, helping our room service staff work more efficiently. However, we’re considering removing telecommunications rooms from future hotel architectural plans and converting that space to revenue generating purposes like larger premium suites,” said Ritter.


High-Speed for both Guests and Staff

In recent years, the demand for high-speed connectivity has been increasing for both the hotel guests and the hotel staff. The old legacy copper cabling had bandwidth capacity limits measured in kilobits and megabits. Today’s single mode fiber cabling has bandwidth capacity measured in the gigabits and terabits. The Passive Optical LAN system has the traffic management mechanisms to take advantage of the fiber cabling’s superior bandwidth and guarantee quality of service to guest and staff for both the wired and wireless connectivity. Uniquely, OLAN can dynamically allocate network resources, like bandwidth, based on real-time network demands for guest services or business operations.

“We are getting significantly higher marks on our customer satisfaction surveys for our high-speed connectivity and these are our most technically savvy millennials guests who are giving us these high scores,” said Ritter.


Scalability and Capacity for the Future

The scaling capabilities of OLAN are also very intriguing as well. Relative to the Internet of Things (IoT) progression, there is no foreseen end to the proliferation of connected devices and applications being introduced into hotels and resorts. Therefore, an IT infrastructure like OLAN that can support large density of gigabit Ethernet connectivity, while utilizing less building space is very appealing. Furthermore, thirst for high-speed connectivity, and access to large amounts of bandwidth, is still accelerating for the millennial generation and all guests. Thus, the fact that OLAN provides an easy, cost efficient migration to 10 gigabit speeds is compelling – especially considering how past copper-based technologies required fork-lift upgrades as they moved from 10 megabit to 100 megabit to 1 gigabit speeds.

“This Optical LAN installation at our SpringHill Suites by Marriott Dayton/Beavercreek has proven to be a grand success and I’m thrilled that we have achieved such high customer satisfaction surveys – that helps our business by securing new and repeat customers at greater velocity,” said Har Bhatnagar, President and CEO at Middletown Hotel Management. “When you add the benefits of scalability and future-proofing, I’m confident that we will be installing Passive Optical LAN in all of our properties moving forward.”


Highest Customer Satisfaction Results

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. For MHM, the selection of UberData Networks for design and network integration services, and the choice of Tellabs Passive Optical LAN solution, resulted in online guest surveys letting them know the SpringHill Suites in Dayton stands out among the best hotels for online performance.


About Tellabs

Tellabs is leading the future of hospitality networking with access solutions for today, poised to deliver modern high-performance solutions for the future. Fast, reliable and secure connectivity has never been in more demand for hotel and resort connectivity. Tellabs’ sole focus is to deliver simple, secure, scalable, and stable networking, that optimizes the hotel guest experience.


About UberData Networks

UberData Networks is a full-service system integrator for customized POL solutions with over 15 years’ experience designing passive optical networks (PON). UberData Networks offers turnkey offer turnkey Optical LAN network solutions integrating the latest Wi-Fi, Distributed Antenna System (DAS), IP surveillance, and VoIP technologies into enterprise networks. Their services and extended partner network ensures the client’s technology needs are surpassed beyond today’s expectations.


About SpringHill Suites By Marriott Dayton (Beavercreek)
The SpringHill Suites Dayton (Beavercreek) Hotel features contemporary design exceeding the expectations of their technically savvy guests. This SpringHill Suites is near fine dining, entertainment, a major university, Wright Patterson Air Force Base and Museum in the Dayton Ohio area. Guests can enjoy spacious 118 guest suites, stylish lobby area, 1560 square feet meeting space, 24-hour onsite business center, fitness center and indoor heated pool.

John Hoover, Tellabs Marketing Director
John Hoover
Director of Marketing
John Hoover is a Marketing Director at Tellabs and 2024 Board Chair of the Association for Promoting Optical LAN (APOLAN). Over the past 20 years, John has influenced industry milestones such as early passive optical network deployments, video implementations, wireless and more recently enterprise Passive Optical LAN adoption.

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