Twitter Facebook RSS

Hospitality & Events

The four challenges of delivering Wi-Fi for hospitality venues

1. Wi-Fi clients are “sticky”. The so-called “sticky client” issue is one of the most common problems in hotels, exhibition halls, or conference centres. When dozens or even hundreds of people enter a venue, their wireless devices tend to associate with the wireless access point (AP) that has the strongest radio-frequency (RF) signal—and that is usually the nearest AP. But as people move around the venue, their mobile devices tend to stay connected, or stick, to the original AP, slowing Wi-Fi performance and creating connectivity problems for everyone.

The sticky client problem is rooted in the traditional microcell architectures used by most wireless LAN solutions. The RF signal is shared among all client devices, which decide to which AP to connect, and when to roam from one AP to another. But because the clients don’t have a picture of the entire wireless LAN and all of the interference sources, they usually do not pick the best AP; accordingly the user experience suffers.

2. Having to log on multiple times in different parts of the venue is inconvenient. Guests and attendees should have a seamless experience using the Wi-Fi, wherever they are within the venue. However, their mobile devices tend to associate with one SSID, but when they move around the venue, their connection may drop and they will have to re-enter their username and password to use the Wi-Fi with a different SSID in that area. Requiring attendees to authenticate multiple times to use the wireless LAN in different parts of the venue is often very confusing and annoying.

3. Demand for WLAN capacity is rising fast. When hundreds of people at the same time use Wi-Fi to connect their mobile devices, there is a capacity crunch. Delivering enough Wi-Fi capacity at hotels and conference venues to meet escalating demands has been at the heart of the challenge. Most wireless LANs were designed to maximise RF coverage, but as the density of mobile devices increases, it’s important to shift to a WLAN design that is also optimised for capacity. And that usually means deploying more APs. However, in traditional microcell architecture, when large numbers of APs are used to deliver the much needed capacity, it creates the potential for greater RF interference. Solving the capacity problem without creating more interference is the key to user satisfaction and easier network management.

4. Venues need the ability to separate traffic by application or service. To ensure both a good experience for guests and attendees, as well as ensuring smooth business operations, venues need the ability to separate the application traffic over the same wireless LAN infrastructure. That way, attendees who are livestreaming the event won’t be able to impact the keynote presentation, lunch orders in the restaurant, mobile check-in or any other use case. Venues should be able to separate application and other traffic by different user groups or departments, such as conference attendees, presenters, back-of-house operations such as food and beverage, as well as mission-critical operations such as safety and security systems.

Meet your Wi-Fi challenges with Meru

With the Meru Virtualised Wireless LAN, hospitality venues can address the need for higher bandwidth and higher client densities and deliver an exceptional experience for their guests and conference attendees. Meru delivers the reliable wireless LAN service that guests, staff, and other users expect, while giving venue management the control and flexibility it needs to meet the mobility demand.

Deploy a seamless virtualised wireless LAN throughout the venue

With Meru, hospitality venues can deploy a virtualised wireless LAN. Meru creates a single, seamless Virtual Cell, in which client devices see one virtualised access point instead of many APs. And unlike traditional microcell deployments, the network—not the client—makes the roaming decision, based on what’s best for the device and the network. This solves the sticky client problem and enables transparent load-balancing. And most importantly, it keeps the attendees and staff happy. Users can move about freely without disruptions to their phone calls, applications, and video streams. In addition, Meru’s single-channel architecture eliminates the need for complex planning for wireless LAN coverage, which reduces the total cost of operation for the venue.

Simplify guest and staff access

Venus can use Meru Connect software to quickly on-board guests’ and employees’ mobile devices. With self-service provisioning, hundreds or thousands of people can get access to the network quickly without requiring the assistance of administrative or IT staff. Meru Connect works with any client device, from any vendor, and on any network, so the user experience is trouble-free. Role- and policy-based provisioning gives venues tight control over who and what devices have access to the Wi-Fi, and where they can go on the network. For venues that offer tiered services for guest Internet access, Meru Connect supports both prepaid and credit card billing. Meru Connect integrates with a broad range of property management systems, which streamlines billing and administration.

Optimise Wi-Fi capacity and coverage with channel layering

Attendees’ appetite for Wi-Fi bandwidth at meetings and conferences is seemingly insatiable, and Meru can help you meet the spiralling demand, as well as assure the user experience for different user groups and applications. With Meru, you can easily deploy multiple, independent RF channel layers to increase capacity and automatically balance the traffic load for consistent availability, no matter where attendees are in the venue. Channel layering enables Meru to deliver some of the best RF capacity in the industry. Meru’s Channel Layering technology allows several virtual cells using different channels to coexist in the same space. Different channels can be dedicated to different applications, devices, and usage scenarios. Conference attendees, for example, can be accommodated on one channel layer, while back-of-house operations are accommodated on another channel layer, and physical security systems on yet another layer.

Optimise Wi-Fi capacity and coverage with channel layering

Attendees’ appetite for Wi-Fi bandwidth at meetings and conferences is seemingly insatiable, and Meru can help you meet the spiralling demand, as well as assure the user experience for different user groups and applications. With Meru, you can easily deploy multiple, independent RF channel layers to increase capacity and automatically balance the traffic load for consistent availability, no matter where attendees are in the venue. Channel layering enables Meru to deliver some of the best RF capacity in the industry. Meru’s Channel Layering technology allows several virtual cells using different channels to coexist in the same space. Different channels can be dedicated to different applications, devices, and usage scenarios. Conference attendees, for example, can be accommodated on one channel layer, while back-of-house operations are accommodated on another channel layer, and physical security systems on yet another layer.

 

 

 

 

Want to know more?

Complete your details and we’ll call you back




Accreditation and certification of competency
Ask us why they are important to your organisation. Read more