Sandals Resorts International Selects Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi for Massive Wi-Fi Upgrade to 23 Caribbean Luxury Properties
SUNNYVALE, CA — March 26, 2013 — Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) announced today that Sandals Resorts International (SRI), operator of Luxury Included® Sandals Resorts for couples and Beaches Resorts for families, is making an extensive upgrade to its existing Smart Wi-Fi network across its 23 luxury resort properties.
SRI is deploying more than 1,200 of the latest Ruckus Smart wireless LAN (WLAN) access points (APs), including the new Ruckus ZoneFlex™ 7055 dual-band Wi-Fi wall switch, Ruckus ZoneFlex 7982 indoor and Ruckus ZoneFlex 7782 outdoor 802.11n 3x3:3 stream APs.
The new SRI Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure is being deployed to deliver high-capacity, high-speed Wi-Fi service across thousands of acres of their resort properties in six Caribbean island nations, including Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. SRI’s newly upgraded Smart Wi-Fi network will now support more than 6,000 guest rooms, and thousands of concurrent users.
The move to the most advanced Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology by this world-famous luxury hotel brand is essential to deliver ultra reliable, high-speed access to guests, many of whom need wireless connectivity for multiple smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, according to Bobby Stewart, Sandals Resorts International’s director of Guest Networks.
In conjunction with the deployment of and powered by their new Ruckus Wi-Fi network, Sandals Resorts is in the process of rolling out a mobile app with free international calling capabilities to the U.S., Canada and to UK landlines, as well as local calls to Jamaican landlines, for guests staying at one of the seven Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, on their iPhone and Android mobile phones. SRI’s corporate staff will also rely on Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi for use with their Wi-Fi based VoIP (VoWifi) handsets, as well as Wi-Fi equipped digital cameras, which are being used to capture on-property photos that are automatically uploaded to the SRI photo sales server, without requiring the photography team to return to the office.
“We’ve always been keenly impressed by the power and reliability of Ruckus Wi-Fi technology, as well as its extreme ease of use,” said Stewart. “Our Wi-Fi network is run centrally by only two persons, with a little help from the local IT manager at each site, and we manage the entire network across all of our properties very easily. It continually manages and optimizes itself — and it performs beautifully.”
Not only is SRI satisfied with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology, for the second year in a row, Ruckus was recently named by HotelChatter as a company offering the “Best Hotel Wi-Fi” to some of the other top hotel chains in the world.
Sandals Wi-Fi Infrastructure Details
The SRI Smart Wi-Fi network provides high-capacity coverage to 23 locations in Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. To maintain each property’s standards for aesthetics, Stewart worked with Ruckus to deploy Ruckus ZoneFlex outdoor access points in various non-intrusive manners, even including birdhouses, which are visually pleasing to the eye and fit in naturally with the lush, tropical landscape, and the abundance of native birds in each location.
The new Smart Wi-Fi network takes advantage of several of the newest Ruckus Wi-Fi APs, including hundreds of its new ZoneFlex 7055 dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi wall switch. The ZoneFlex 7055 is a low-cost and inconspicuous in-room Wi-Fi solution that leverages hotels’ existing wired infrastructure to support both 2.4 and 5 GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi and wireless meshing. The ZoneFlex 7055 wall switch is the only such product to combine wired and wireless connectivity to support a growing class of IP-based guest services over multiple virtual LANs (VLANs).
Additionally, SRI is deploying Ruckus carrier-class ZoneFlex 7982 three-stream indoor APs and ZoneFlex 7782 three-stream outdoor APs to ensure optimal performance — even during peak times when 1,000 or more devices need connectivity at the same time.
“We have some properties with concrete and steel walls that are one foot thick,” said Stewart. “We have found no other vendor that has equaled the performance of the Ruckus solutions.” SRI is also utilizing Ruckus SmartMesh™ Networking technology that allows access points to be reliably deployed without Ethernet cabling.
Each individual SRI Wi-Fi network is managed by its own Ruckus ZoneDirector™ 3000 controller, monitored by the on-site property manager, and managed centrally.
The entire six-island SRI network is centrally managed by the Ruckus FlexMaster™ management system, located at the SRI corporate data center in Montego Bay, Jamaica. FlexMaster gives Stewart’s two-person central team powerful, yet convenient, oversight and control of the entire SRI network.
“Wi-Fi used to be about a basic service that people were just happy to have access to, regardless of quality,” concluded Stewart. “However, in today’s world, customers expect reliable and consistent service, whether that be a basic free connection, or a Premium, High Bandwidth solution — and Ruckus delivers on all fronts like no other Wi-Fi technology we’ve found.”
FlexMaster, Ruckus, Ruckus Wireless, SmartMesh Networking, ZoneFlex, and ZoneDirector are trademarks of Ruckus Wireless, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other product or company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.