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It is our responsibility to improve the Internet access experience of guests. Huawei with their partner NetNordic provides an efficient and reliable Wi-Fi network for Thon Hotel customers.

Morten Thorvaldsen Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Thon Hotels
Background

With the development of the digital society, Wi-Fi has become deeply integrated into our modern-day lives. The quality of a hotel’s wireless network is a key factor in improving its reputation. A survey by Forrester showed that 90 percent of customers think that good quality hotel Wi-Fi is essential.

Olav Thon Group, also known as OTG, is the largest real estate company in Norway, with more than 100 shopping centers in Norway and Sweden, 76 hotels, and over 500 commercial buildings. The founder, Olav Thon, was once the richest person in Norway who later donated all of his assets to the welfare fund, earning him enduring admiration. Thon Hotels has always been committed to providing customers with the best experiences, and has continuously optimized its management level and service quality.

Challenges

Several years ago, customers might turn on the TV as the first thing after entering their room. Today, guests are more likely to first connect to the hotel Wi-Fi with their cellphones, tablets, or computers. According to a survey conducted by English Hotelier Room, 65 percent of guests were online within seven minutes of checking in and one third requested the Wi-Fi password as soon as their arrival. With the development of the mobile office, the new working model is based on sending and receiving emails or joining video conferences anytime and anywhere. Wi-Fi signal coverage in hotels has become increasingly important when both business people and tourists when selecting hotels.

Hotel operations management personnel want to provide customers with a high-quality Wi-Fi experience to enhance customer satisfaction, improve the hotel’s reputation, and increase revenue. In addition, they can analyze the behavior of guests to offer them a more comprehensive range of services. The hotel must also rely on networks to achieve modernization of services and management. The project scale of Wi-Fi network deployment for Thon hotels is one of the largest in Norway, and even in all of Northern Europe, including 12,000 guest rooms, 150 meeting rooms, and several large exhibition halls. One of the requirements for OTG was to ensure that guests can enjoy high-quality Wi-Fi networks anytime and anywhere in the hotel.

Traditional hotel Wi-Fi solutions are either radio Access Points (APs) in the corridor or in the room. With APs mounted in the ceiling of the corridor, testing shows that in the guest rooms farther away from the AP, the wireless signal is weak or coverage holes might even exist. An AP in each room solves the problem of signal attenuation, but new problems arise. In room deployment greatly increases the number of APs as well as costs. Also, installation and deployment of APs in this way requires many cables, substantial wall engineering, and a large area; therefore, traditional AP in room deployment is also unacceptable to customers.

Solution

OTG selected Huawei’s unique Agile Distributed Wi-Fi Solution. Different from traditional corridor settled APs or APs with antennas deployed in room, the Agile Distributed Wi-Fi Solution consists of the central AP (AD9430DN-24 or AD9430DN-12) and Remote Radio Units (RRUs) (R250D-E). Central APs can be deployed in a technical room or in the corridor, while the RUs are installed in the guest rooms so that end users can enjoy high-quality WLAN access services, achieving a high bandwidth of 167M per room and eliminating dead zones.

Benefits

Ubiquitous High-Quality Wi-Fi Signals

For the Huawei solution, RUs are deployed in each room, without wall penetration attenuation and feeder loss. This ensures high bandwidth and quality of Wi-Fi signals and meets requirements for video conferencing and HD video scenarios where each user requires at least 10 Mbit/s bandwidth.

In addition, the AP’s high calculation ability which builds a private roaming region for each terminal, ensures that guests do not need to be authenticated again regardless of where they are walking in the hotel. In this way, the network connection is not interrupted.

Flexible Deployment, No Service Interruptions, and Simple O&M Management

Unlike the traditional distributed AP which only allows for a maximum feeder length of 15 meters, the central AP uses network cables to replace feeder cables and supports up to a 100-meter distance from the RUs. The network coverage range is therefore expanded by several times. Additionally, when the link between the central AP and AC disconnects, the central AP and RUs can maintain the current working states, preventing user service interruptions and ensuring highly-reliable transmission. Finally, only 200 central APs must be maintained and managed for nearly 10,000 rooms, greatly simplifying the workload of the Network Management System (NMS). This lowers the hotel network O&M labor costs.

Flexible and open

Huawei’s Value-Added Partner, NetNordic, has customized the portal authentication and landing pages based on the business needs of the hotel, to enable customers to be better informed about the hotel services. Various APIs and NetNordic’s software platform Zero Touch that relies on the Huawei open network, enables the OTG Hotel to provide advanced and customized services to guests, achieving win-win results.

Olav Thon Group wishes to facilitate rapid communication, quick access to information and excellent user experiences for all of its locations. OTG has also chosen Huawei and NetNordic as Wi-Fi partners for its malls.

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