Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Improves Guest Wi-Fi Coverage and Performance with Aruba Wireless Solutions

Radisson Blu Hotel, in Al Sufouh at Dubai Media City has recently deployed wireless infrastructure from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, to deliver secure, seamless, high-speed, wireless internet connectivity across its hotel rooms, suites and public areas. The implementation has resulted in improvement in rating of Wi-Fi services and drastic reduction in volume of IT help desk calls, besides the fact that the design of the Access Points (APs) blends seamlessly with the hotel aesthetics and AP management, monitoring and troubleshooting has become centralized and simplified.

For a hotel geared towards business travelers, fast, easy and reliable connectivity was high on the list of expectations for the organization’s guests. Based on guest feedback received via its Medallia guest survey, the hotel realized that it needed to upgrade its wireless network in terms of both performance and coverage. “It is our Group’s policy to offer complimentary Wi-Fi connectivity and with typical business travelers bringing anywhere between one to five wireless devices, we needed a solution that could cope with growing demands over the next five years. We did our due diligence and were guided by Aruba’s local gold partner, EMW who assured us that Aruba would offer the best solution in terms of performance, simplicity, manageability and security,” said Mr. Rushdy Mubarak, IT Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel, DMC.

Aruba’s team of network professionals conducted a detailed site survey and determined that while 802.11ac solutions would be required to support high density environments such as meeting rooms and public areas, its 802.11n solutions would be sufficient for coverage in guest rooms. This meant the hotel could meet guests’ demands for a reasonable cost. Aruba’s 275 Outdoor APs were selected for the outdoor areas as they provided impressive wide-area coverage, while Aruba 225 and Aruba 205 APs were chosen for the meeting rooms. To provide the highest level of service, 802.11ac coverage was extended to the suites while the Aruba 103H Hospitality AP was selected for the remaining rooms. To simplify manageability of the new network, two Aruba 7210 mobility controllers and Aruba’s AirWave network management platform were also selected for the deployment.

Graeme Kane, Business Development Manager, Hospitality at Aruba says, “Today’s mobile, tech-savvy traveler demands a best-in-class experience when it comes to Wi-Fi and related guest services. Aruba helps hospitality venues such as Radisson Blu boost guest satisfaction and loyalty.”

Aruba’s implementation partner EMW meticulously planned the deployment around predicted occupancy patterns, so as to rollout the new wireless infrastructure without any inconvenience to hotel guests. The plug and play nature of Aruba’s APs greatly sped up the installation process. Overall, the implementation proceeded without a hitch which was testament to the ease-of-use of Aruba’s solutions and the expertise of EMW. “We had no technology related issues. And because of proper planning the deployment was seamlessly executed,” said Mr. Rushdy.

The positive impact that the new solution had on guests was instantly noticeable. This was reflected in the feedback received via the Medallia survey which saw ratings for Wi-Fi connectivity improve from 7 to above 9 on a scale of 10.

“We also noted better reviews being posted on sites such as TripAdvisor which is essential to attracting new patrons to our hotel,” said Mr. Rushdy. “We see this itself as being as justification of the project as it directly impacts our revenues.”

Most importantly, since completion of the project, the IT team no longer receives complaints relating to poor coverage. “We have seen a 90 to 95 percent reduction in the number of help desk calls. Furthermore, the few remaining issues are now non-technical and therefore easily resolved,” said Mr. Rushdy.

Central to the success of the Aruba deployment was its ability to meet the hotel’s demands for the next five years. And Rushdy is quick to point out that even a 200% increase in bandwidth would not “max out" the APs.

“We are very pleased to be partners with Aruba Networks as their portfolio complements our solutions. Having achieved the Highest Growth Partner Award for this year from Aruba has raised our confidence to promote their products portfolio. Radisson has been our customer for over 10 years and to position this state of the art wireless solution has been our business pleasure,” said Mr. Serjios Hage, Group CEO at EMWme

Commenting on his overall satisfaction with the deployment, Mr. Rushdy concluded, “Aruba is a clear choice for the hospitality domain. The company’s solutions perfectly address all Wi-Fi challenges and enable us to consistently deliver the highest performance and reliability. With this becoming an essential service to business and leisure travelers alike, it gives us a competitive edge.”