High speed Wi-Fi wall switch a hit with hoteliers upgrading Wi-Fi service

Ruckus Wireless today announced that its high-speed Wi-Fi wall switch (the ZoneFlex 7025) has been deployed by many hotels that want to to deliver a myriad of IP-based in-room services over a unified wired/wireless infrastructure, while also providing high-speed wireless Internet access to a flood of new Wi-Fi-enabled mobile and handheld devices.

The ZoneFlex 7025 Wi-Fi wall switch (pictured below) integrates 802.11n Wi-Fi technology with wired Ethernet ports in a small-footprint wall jack, giving hotel and resort operators an elegant, low-cost and inconspicuous device that allows them to leverage their existing wired infrastructure to deliver an ever expanding set of IP-based guest services over multiple virtual LANs (VLANs).

Ruckus Wireless WiFi switch

Ruckus Wireless Zoneflex 802.11n wall switch

Hoteliers like Kerzner International Resorts, owners of the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas, are using the Ruckus wall switch to offer HD video on demand, mini bar service, temperature control, and high-speed wired and wireless access, with the highest performance and lowest cost per room.

For many hoteliers, early Wi-Fi implementations are no longer able to keep up with the flood of wireless-only devices and bandwidth-demanding applications being used by guests and staff. Additionally, as many new services and hotel devices embrace IP as the preferred method of connectivity and management, the requirement for a converged wired and wireless network has quickly become a necessity.

Atlantis: Smart Wi-Fi a ‘Perfect Match’ for Caribbean Resort

The Atlantis Paradise Island is a luxury resort in the heart of the Caribbean. The expansive property features more than 3,000 guest rooms and is home to the world’s largest open-air marine environment with 50,000 sea creatures representing 200 species, a spectacular Mayan Temple Waterslide complex, six swimming areas and countless waterfalls, and a $15 million marina.

For the past few years the Atlantis has provided guest Wi-Fi access using an 802.11b outdoor network that also broadcast wireless signals indoors. However spotty signal coverage, more user devices and higher speed wireless requirements have driven the Atlantis to seek more innovative Wi-Fi solutions. More recently, with the widespread adoption of iPhones, Android devices, iPads and other smart gadgets that require wireless connectivity, the resort’s existing Wi-Fi network had reached its limit – and the available options for upgrading it were extremely costly.

At the same time Kerzner International was looking to upgrade the property’s Wi-Fi network, it was also looking to replace an obsolete network of in-room VLAN switches in the 1,200-room Royal Towers. Rather than explore new options which would have required installing more Ethernet ports and essentially doing a new build-out, Kerzner turned to its integration partner, Red One Networks, which recommended the Ruckus Wi-Fi wall switch for the price and performance advantages it offered.

“The Ruckus wall switch was a perfect match,” said Tim Lawson, vice president of sales for Red One. “It met all of the resort’s needs for wired and wireless connectivity while allowing them to continue using their existing infrastructure, and delivered better performance at a much lower cost than other solutions they evaluated. And because of its controller-based architecture, which the BelAir Wi-Fi system lacked, the resort’s IT team can easily add more switches and access points over time, knowing they can easily support and manage them from one central location.”

Currently the Atlantis has installed hundreds of ZoneFlex 7025 wall switches, one in every third guest room. Each wall switch includes four VLAN-capable wired Ethernet ports – three of which are used for high-definition IPTV, the mini bar and wired Internet access. The entire network is centrally managed with three Ruckus ZoneDirector™ 3000s, which allow the hotel’s IT staff to easily monitor performance of each access point, troubleshoot problems and configure network settings to support varying usage patterns.

As Kerzner expands its Wi-Fi upgrade beyond the main Royal Towers, it will likely look to other Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products such as the ZoneFlex 7363 802.11n dual-band indoor/outdoor access point, which is more suitable for larger areas like conference rooms, restaurants, lobbies and other places where guests congregate, as well as for the more recently constructed guest room towers, where existing VLAN switches are absent.

Ruckus Wi-Fi Wall Switch Answers the Call

In many hotels around the world Ethernet cabling is limited, and guest rooms and other areas such as the front desk, conference rooms, meeting spaces and business centers lack Ethernet ports and wireless coverage.

For hotels that have deployed an extensive wired Ethernet network, more ports are often required to connect new IP-enabled devices and support new multimedia services, but installing additional Ethernet switches in guest rooms can be out of the question due to issues of cost and complexity. Not only are they are expensive and the installations disruptive, but they also require more power and often involve special furniture designs to keep them out of sight.

Deployed as a standalone device or centrally managed by any Ruckus ZoneDirector wireless LAN controller or Ruckus FlexMaster Wi-Fi management system, the ZoneFlex 7025 Wi-Fi wall switch reduces the cost and complexity of installing and managing wired and wireless network services.

The Ruckus Wi-Fi wall switch is driven by a single POE connection and provides four 10/100 Mbps Ethernet jacks and two uplink Ethernet wiring options. Additionally, the Ruckus Wi-Fi wall switch uses POE to power a device such as an IP phone and provides native connectivity to digital phones through a single digital PBX pass through port.

Hotels around the world that have deployed the ZoneFlex 7025 high-speed Wi-Fi wall switch include:

  • Concorde Hotel (Singapore)
  • Courtyard Seattle
  • Empee Hotels Ltd. (Chennai, India)
  • Grand Hyatt Chicago
  • Hammock Beach Resort (FL)
  • Hotel Akash Palace (Shimoga, India)
  • Hotel Du Vin (Henley, UK)
  • Jeddah Hilton (Saudi Arabia)
  • Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas (owned by Kerzner International Resorts)
  • Lake Elementeita Serena Luxury Camp (Kenya)
  • Malmaison Oxford (UK)
  • Mandarin Oriental Manhattan
  • Mandarin Oriental Miami
  • Nairobi Serena Hotel (Kenya)
  • One and Only Royal Mirage Dubai
  • Pullman Dubai City Center
  • Quilon Resort (Cochin, India)
  • Renaissance Mumbai
  • Ritz Calton Bahrain
  • Ritz Calton Riyadh
  • St. Marks Hotel (Bangalore)
  • Shivai Hotels (Pune, India)
  • Star City Casino (Sydney)
  • Swissotel Nai Lert Park (Thailand)
  • Trident Hotel (Mumbai)
  • Westin Kierland (Arizona)