Intercontinental - Mark Hopkins

The Mark Hopkins Makes the Right Call on Voice, Solving Nagging Connectivity Issues with Smarter Wi-Fi

The staff at the world-renowned InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel in the Nob Hill district of San Francisco were less than thrilled with their new push-to-talk VoIP communicators that were supposed to make everything easier. But it wasn’t the fault of the cool, Star Trek-looking devices, it was the Wi-Fi network.

While Wi-Fi was being used throughout the hotel for common high-speed Internet access (HSIA) services, Mark Hopkins’ IT director wanted to leverage the technology to make hotel services more productive and effi cient for some 350 staff as well as hotel guests.

The initial Wi-Fi network was originally designed to deal with the issue surrounding guest Internet access. The interior walls at the Mark Hopkins were constructed of thick metal lathe core with concrete plaster. This severely restricts the penetration of wireless signals. Faced with the choice of deploying more access points for better coverage or fewer APs with a stronger signal, the hotel added RF amplifi ers and 5dBi cone antennas to its legacy 802.11g access points. And this did the trick, until voice came calling.

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Requirements
  • Eliminate dropped connections and unstable performance for Vocera voice over IP system
  • High-density Wi-Fi support for meeting rooms
  • Solve inter-cell Wi-Fi roaming problems
  • Central management for Wi-Fi APs
  • Deploy Wi-Fi system that could automatically mitigate Wi-Fi interference
  • High-gain directional Wi-Fi system that eliminated co-channel interference and only generated signals where needed
  • Remote management of WLAN controllers over a wide area network
Solution
  • 38 Ruckus 2942 Smart Wi-Fi 802.11g APs
  • One Ruckus ZoneDirector 3050 Smart WLAN controller
Benefits
  • More consistent voice quality
  • Eliminated clicks, pops and other audible voice impairments
  • Reduced jitter/delay
  • Dropped connections minimized
  • Better Vocera system performance
  • Stronger, more reliable Wi-Fi signals
  • Centralized management of Wi-Fi system