Scandic Hotels chooses Ruckus Wi-Fi for wireless upgrade

Project lead Swisscom Hospitality is deploying over 15,000 Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi access points across eight countries in Europe’s largest hotel Wi-Fi project

Scandic Hotels chooses Ruckus Wi-Fi for wireless upgrade

Ruckus Wireless is supplying its Smart Wi-Fi products and technology to 130-plus Scandic Hotels in eight countries. Working in partnership with Swisscom Hospitality Services, the project lead, Ruckus has already supplied 12,800 Ruckus ZoneFlex access points (APs), along with advanced wireless LAN (WLAN) management systems.

Scandic Hotels, the biggest hotel operator in Northern Europe, is looking to differentiate its hotel chain by providing pervasive Wi-Fi across its portfolio of properties.

The new infrastructure now serves as the foundation for delivering next generation high-speed Internet access (HSIA) to guests as well as supporting new service optimisation applications for Scandic staff.

The first hotel chain in Europe to offer wireless Internet access in all its hotels free of charge, Scandic has long led the hospitality industry in delivering a best-in-class online experience to guests through the use of innovative new technology and systems.

“Customer expectations around Wi-Fi have gone far beyond what we ever thought they would be,” said Martin Thell, CIO for Scandic Hotels. “We needed a solution that could deliver the capacity, coverage and pervasive performance that a discerning clientele demands from any world-class hotel—and that’s exactly what we got.”

For many hoteliers, Wi-Fi implementations based on conventional enterprise technology are no longer able to meet the stringent demands driven by a deluge of wireless-only devices and bandwidth-greedy applications being used by guests and staff.

Additionally, as many new services and hotel devices embrace IP as the preferred method of connectivity and management, the requirement for more scalable, flexible and industrial strength Wi-Fi systems has quickly become a non-negotiable necessity.

“Our new Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure is as different as night and day. It just works,” continued Thell. “With it, we’ve effectively eliminated any complaints about connectivity, which gives us more time to focus on innovative new services that deliver a world-class experience in any of our hotels.”

According to Thell, since installing Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi, Scandic has seen dramatic improvements in guest satisfaction scores as well as a significant reduction in Wi-Fi trouble tickets, with users enjoying connection rates that are often two to four-times faster than its previous system.

Scandic’s new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure, designed and deployed by Swisscom Hospitality Services, has been specifically developed to deliver pervasive coverage and performance for more than 30,000 guest rooms and millions of meters of conference and meeting space, through the use of single- and dual-band, 802.11n high-capacity Ruckus ZoneFlex access points.

Beyond guest HSIA, Scandic intends to use the new Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure to support a number of applications, ranging from guest express checkout to housekeeping and back-of-house services, and to voice over IP.

For the project, Swisscom is capitalising on Ruckus-patented adaptive antenna array technology, which is capable of uniquely focusing Wi-Fi signals only where they are needed, while constantly adapting them to environmental changes. This allows Wi-Fi users at Scandic Hotels to enjoy stronger signals and more stable connections at higher-speeds over longer distances.

“Scandic exemplifies how a hotel chain can leverage the guest Internet experience to differentiate from the competition while at the same time strengthening its brand,” said Samu Raunela, sales director at Swisscom Hospitality Services.

“We chose Ruckus as our preferred hardware partner for this chain-wide deployment to meet Scandic’s highest requirements in terms of performance, reliability and scalability. Ruckus is now widely considered the gold standard for wireless hardware within the hospitality industry. Their innovative products have transformed Wi-Fi from a best effort guest service into a predictable, completely dependable guest offering,” said Raunela.

Through the use of highly scalable and redundant Ruckus ZoneDirector WLAN controllers, Swisscom is providing comprehensive support and monitoring of the entire Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure from its network operations centre in Lisbon, Portugal, providing Scandic’s IT team complete control over each hotel network at all times.

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