|Image Source: Iberostar Hotels & Resorts|
In recent years, providing Wi-Fi has become a norm in the hospitality industry – a service expected not as a luxury, but as an amenity. However, faced with large numbers of concurrent users, increasing number of mobile devices per user, and increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications, many hotels quickly realized the need for user and network management. The Iberostar resorts in the Dominican Republic (Iberostar Bavaro Suite, Iberostar Dominicana, Iberostar Punta Cana, Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus, and Iberostar Costa Dorada) were confronted with the same issues, and set out to search for a feasible and cost-effective Wi-Fi solution. The fundamental requirements defined by Iberostar’s management team were detailed user authentication, role-based policy assignment, and quick account generation, all of which were aimed at addressing the deluge of smartphones, tablets, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices.
After evaluating 4ipnet’s proposed solution, Iberostar’s team found that it could fulfill all of their needs, and was very pleased with the results. They decided to deploy WHG711 Wireless LAN Controllers and HSG1250 Hotspot Gateways across the six Dominican Republic resorts, with each controller accompanied by a wireless ticket generator set that would help front desk staff quickly print account credentials for guests. At the touch of a button, tickets with login credentials and matching QR codes could be printed, allowing guests to connect to the network without the troublesome login process.
The primary issue that 4ipnet’s solution resolved was unauthorized Internet access, which was a major point of concern for Iberostar from the security and reliability standpoint. After the 4ipnet system went online, every user was required to authenticate before accessing the hotel network, regardless of being a guest or hotel staff. Users would then be applied different usage policies such as firewall rules or bandwidth limitations depending on their pre-assigned role. Finally, the hotel could limit the usage time for each guest account. The fine-grained user control and network management features helped Iberostar maintain a secure and high performance public Wi-Fi environment.
Other features found useful by Iberostar included the customizable captive portals and built-in billing plans. Customizable captive portals allowed each resort to tailor the user login pages with their own logo and visual identity. At the same time, the on-demand account billing plans allowed the hotel to monetize Wi-Fi, turning its wireless network into an additional revenue stream for increased ROI. In summary, 4ipnet’s WLAN solution not only greatly enhanced the hotel network’s security and performance, but also dramatically improved customer experience. Keeping guests happy and returning with quality Wi-Fi service was Iberostar’s primary objective, and 4ipnet’s solution helped accomplish that feat.
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