Hotelier Technology Update EVDO EVDO is a cellular-based data delivery technology that has the same general coverage capabilities and limitations as cell phone service. Hoteliers should be wary of the coverage and reliability of EVDO to deliver HSIA services in their hotels. Wi-Fi is more economical to deploy, and guarantees coverage and performance for a hotelâ€™s guests. iBAHN is your Wi-Fi expert.
What is EVDO and why should I care? EVDO is an acronym for Evolution-Data Optimised or Evolution-Data only. EVDO uses wireless phone networks to deliver broadband to mobile devices as well as stationary units. This network is used by wireless phone customers who access the internet to surf as well as upload and download small files. Previously, this network was unable to achieve speeds fast enough to use as a constant broadband connection, however many carriers have upgraded portions of their networks to enable EVDO to perform at 1MB or greater speeds on downloads. Since EVDO is a cellular wireless technology, it works in the same locations and has the same quality as cell phones, allowing it to be used in parts of hotels.
What is changing with EVDO technology? EVDO is one standard for transmitting data via a cellular network. There is also a second standard, EDGE, which is a different protocol. The features and limitations of EVDO are generally the same for EDGE (with the caveat that EDGE is typically slower in speeds than EVDO). The EVDO capabilities have been enhanced since initial implementation. The first version, referred to as Rev 0 is generally available nationally, and is in the 300K-700Kbps range. Rev A is currently being deployed widely, and offers speeds in the 3.1Mbps range. Rev B is in demonstration and Rev C is in definition and development. In general the speeds of Rev B and C are an improvement over Rev A, and do not have specific timelines set for commercial deployment. Wi-Fi standards by comparison are for 54Mbps rate, with standard throughput of 20Mbps.
The following chart shows the relative peak speed of various wireless technologies:
So what does all this mean to hoteliers? EVDO suffers from several limitations: â€˘ Just like a cell phone, signals have difficulty penetrating hotel infrastructure. Hotels would need to deploy a cellular antenna systems (typically referred to as DAS) to extend coverage within the hotel. This infrastructure typically requires a higher density - more Access Points (APs)-and different placement of APs than a standard Wi-Fi network and requires specific tuning expertise to provide full coverage. â€˘ EVDO service is from cellular towers, and call density is a major limitation of the service. Cell Towers can handle a finite number of connections simultaneously, and having a group rely on EVDO for a conference or event will cause significant network congestion, and some users will simply not be able to access the network at all. â€˘ EVDO is a consumer-oriented service, and many cellular providers are considering data download limitations on the service. Hoteliers should not rely on EVDO to provide high quality HSIA services for their guests.
In the 2007 Business Travel Monitor research report, HSIA is now a more demanded amenity than movies or fitness centres. In addition, a recent JD Powers report indicates that 52% of guests will not return to a hotel where they have a poor Internet experience. Using EVDO to provide HSIA for your hotel is turning over the quality and reliability of your guest HSIA experience to a company that you cannot influence or have as a working partner. Are you willing to let your most demanded amenity be delivered as an afterthought?
How does iBAHN help? iBAHN focuses on the service delivery, and reliability of its HSIA services. We are there to help hotels give their customers the best HSIA experience available in the industry. Wi-Fi networks are costeffective, reliable and provide full coverage throughout the hotel. Distributed Antenna Systems can cost ten times the cost of a Wi-Fi only network, and do not guarantee service to large numbers of simultaneous users.
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