Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE:RKUS) today announced at the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), being held this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center, that its Smart Wi-Fi products and technology have been selected by La Quinta Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LQ) (“La Quinta”), owner, operator and franchisor of La Quinta Inn & Suites™ and La Quinta Inn™ branded hotels, as the Wi-Fi standard for next generation high-speed Internet access (HSIA) services within its corporate-owned hotel segment, and as a preferred provider for franchised La Quinta hotels.
According to data provided by Smith Travel Research, La Quinta is the fastest growing principal select-service hotel brand primarily serving the midscale and upper-midscale segments in the United States over the last 10 years. La Quinta has successfully differentiated its brand through strategic investments in technology to enhance the guest experience. These efforts, in addition to its focus on consistently delivering the highest levels of customer service, have enabled La Quinta to build a loyal and growing base of customers.
Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products deliver higher capacity Wi-Fi services that address the growing requirement by guests to view and consume their own personal content when traveling. For hotels aiming to deliver an online experience that rivals or exceeds the guest experience at home, a best-in-class wireless network architecture is no longer a negotiable requirement.
“The Multi-Device guest looking to stream video-content is quickly becoming the norm,” said Vivek Shaiva, executive vice president and Chief Information Officer at La Quinta Inns and Suites. “Implementing Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products and technology is one example of our ongoing efforts to provide guests with innovative solutions that enhance their travel experience.”
According to La Quinta, the sea change in mobile technology coupled with the advent of cloud computing, mobilization and social media have made obsolete the traditional HSIA business model, as travelers require faster Internet connections to consume their own content.
The Revolution of Hotel Wi-Fi
In the evolution of the hotel business, the guest is now the driver and the dominant change in guest behavior in recent years has undoubtedly been in the realm of technology. An increasingly tech-savvy guest population now armed with multiple computing devices is traveling with their own technology and prefer to choose and consume their own media, with the expectation that seamless and high-speed wireless connectivity will be available from virtually anywhere within a hotel property.
This places increased demands on hoteliers to provide faster and more reliable wireless infrastructures that support real-time, bandwidth-hungry applications such as video streaming and access to multimedia rich Internet sites.
Understanding this, La Quinta is designing and deploying an advanced wireless network infrastructure capable of allowing guests to display and view their own content on flat panel televisions within guest rooms. Shaiva noted that the key to supporting guests’ increased consumption of wireless bandwidth is broader support for the channel-rich 5 GHz Wi-Fi band that delivers over 450 MHz of capacity, and the ability to more easily aggregate channels to enable higher speed Wi-Fi connections for 5 GHz-capable client devices.
“A long-time leader in providing free high-speed wireless access to our guests, La Quinta is committed to keeping pace with the changing usage patterns of hotel guests who are increasingly bringing their own content into our hotels. This not only means upgrading the Wi-Fi infrastructure with best-in-class wireless products and technology, it also includes upgrading in-room devices as well as the broadband capacity into our sites to ensure the best possible experience for our guests no matter where they are,” concluded Shaiva.
To meet these new requirements, La Quinta has selected and is deploying Ruckus ZoneFlex™ 7372 and 7982 dual-band 802.11n access points (APs) across a large portion of its corporate-owned hotel segment, and making the same technology available for franchised hotels. Unlike conventional Wi-Fi products and technology, high-capacity Ruckus ZoneFlex 7372 and 7982 APs integrate patentedBeamFlex™ adaptive antenna technology that focuses and directs Wi-Fi signals only where they are needed over the fastest paths, thereby extending signal coverage and ensuring the highest possible performance as environmental conditions change.
Management and support for the Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure across La Quinta’s corporate owned hotels is being performed by Guest-tek™, the world’s largest provider of IP-based technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Ruckus ZoneDirector™ 3000 WLAN controllers allow local and remote configuration as well as simplified administration of the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure at La Quinta hotels by Guest-Tek support staff.