Hotel WiFi Case Study

Candlewood Suites - St. Louis, MO

EnSky Series - Indoor Wi-Fi at the Hotel O'Fallon
The Candlewood Suites® Hotel O’Fallon is an all-suite, 79-room extended stay hotel which caters to tourists, business travelers, and government travelers in town to visit nearby Scott Air Force Base. In addition to spacious suites which each include well-equipped kitchens and executive work desks, the hotel also provides a business center, onsite health and fitness center and outdoor barbeque areas.

Hotel guests demand wireless network connectivity, not only for business and government travelers to connect their laptops, but to support the increase of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that guests use to access the Internet. While the Candlewood Suites promoted free Wi-Fi access in every suite, guests were frequently frustrated by the difficulty or inability to access the network throughout the four-story building. To solve the problem, the hotel contacted Cierra Digital Communications.

Located in O’Fallon, Illinois, Cierra Digital Communications provides communications infrastructure solutions for small and medium sized businesses. Owner Dennis Miller specializes in PBX networking, wireless networks, video surveillance, premise security, and two-way radio.

The Need: A Fast Wireless Network to Provide Reliable Connectivity Throughout the Hotel

Upon inspecting the existing wireless network infrastructure, Miller found that the existing network was not providing adequate coverage throughout the building and that in areas where there was coverage, the signal levels were poor. “The hotel was using consumer-grade routers and the guests would either see the signal and not be able to log on, get bumped off of the network, or couldn’t see the signal at all,” explained Miller.  “The network couldn’t function with all of those users in such a small hotel.” Miller knew that to fix the problem and provide reliable wireless connectivity for the hotel’s guests, he would need to deploy a new, more powerful business-class wireless network infrastructure. Identifying the solution would be his next challenge.

“We’re really, really happy with the product… There have been absolutely no complaints.”

Dennis Miller

Owner, Cierra Digital Communications

The Solution: EnGenius EnSky Series Wireless Management Solution

Given Miller’s extensive background in RF technology, his search for a wireless LAN solution started on the Internet and he was drawn to the EnSky Series Wireless Management Solution.  “Normally I would have looked at some of the other big name manufacturers, but I saw the 800mW power rating of the EnSky Series access points,” he said. “That means a lot to me.”

After discussing the benefits of the EnSky Series Wireless Management System with Keenan Systems, an EnGenius Master Reseller, Miller purchased the EWS5912FP EnSky Series 8-Port GigE PoE+ Wireless Management Controller and Switch along with nine EWS320AP EnSky Series Dual-Band Wireless N900 Managed Indoor Access Points.

The EnGenius EnSky Series Wireless Management Solution is a scalable solution for operations that occupy large properties and that need to deploy, monitor, and manage numerous EnGenius EnSky Series Wireless Access Points from one simple and accessible browser-based software platform. EnSky Series switches can support any number of EnSky Series Wireless Access Points from a few to several hundred, depending upon the number of EnSky Series Switches in the network.

“We initially installed the switch and mounted four of the access points in the ceilings and fired it up,” said Miller.  “The signal was huge everywhere with just four of the access points hooked up!” After deploying the rest of the access points and configuring them through the EWS5912FP switch, he found the signal coverage throughout the property to be “five bars of signal everywhere.” He also stated that installation of the system was quick and easy and took a total of only two hours.

The Results: Fast Deployment, Exceptional Coverage, and Reliable Connectivity

The EnGenius EnSky Series wireless management solution deployed easily and provided a reliable, high-performance network that has significantly enhanced the wireless network experience for the hotel guests. Miller said, “With the previous system, people with iPads weren’t able to log into the network without contacting technical support at the gateway to pull it up. Now it’s just automatic.”

The EnSky Series provided a level of range and performance that has established EnGenius as the wireless vendor of choice for Cierra Digital Communications. “This was the first system from EnGenius that we’ve deployed, but we’re really, really happy with the product,”  Miller exclaimed.  “I told the hotel management that I want to hear about any issues at all, even a small glitch in the wireless network, but there have been absolutely no complaints. Whenever we get a replacement order, EnGenius is what we’re putting in!”

Learn more about the EnSky Series.

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