Web Exclusive: World Cinema’s Robert Grosz Talks About Connectivity Solutions
World Cinema Inc. (WCI) has been in the hospitality television business for nearly five decades. Founded in 1974, it was the first provider of television services to hotels nationwide and has supported hotels through the evolution of technology from the days of the VCR to the launch of satellite television and then the transformation towards high definition television and, finally, up to the combination of Internet and television via streaming and the interactivity that we see today in the properties.
The company currently partners with more than 100 local field service and construction companies, serves more than 4,200 properties nationwide, totaling more than 600,000 rooms, and regularly manages more than one million devices. networked. Here Robert Grosz, Executive Vice President / Commercial Director, World Cinema Inc. provides advice on investing in the right connectivity solutions for your property.
What are the advantages of fiber connectivity for hotels? How easy is it to replace the current cable with fiber optic cables throughout an entire hotel without disruption? When it comes to the guest connectivity experience, fiber provides the fastest, most reliable, and lowest latency connections available, a must-have for today’s guests. Fiber infrastructure also offers the opportunity to scale up in terms of bandwidth capacity to support future applications. There’s a reason fiber is powering the deployment of advanced 5G networks. Fiber is where the Internet works best.
But if your hotel doesn’t already have fiber, the upgrade can be costly in terms of disrupting property operations. It’s not impossible to pull fiber into every room, but it’s not always easy. There are solutions that involve the deployment of fiber optic to intermediate distribution points throughout the property, then connection to a shielded wired infrastructure (category 6 or higher) structured over the last 100 meters up to the room or WiFi access point.
Going forward, we will use 5G technologies to connect fiber optic to a hotel-wide Radio Access Network (RAN), and then leverage the cloud-based network intelligence of 5G to easily deploy High power 5G gateways that create additional Ethernet and WiFi densification throughout the hotel. buildings. Fiber will almost always be the backbone, but the last 100 meters can be copper wired or even completely wireless. Therefore, existing hotel owners shouldn’t give up hope that their property can be a world-class digital ecosystem without the trouble of completely rewiring the building.
What is GPON and how can it be a cost effective option for hotels? Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) is a flexible fiber access technology for providing internet throughout a property. Using point-to-multipoint technology, GPON uses passive splitters to distribute fiber, allowing a single fiber to support multiple users in a property. If GPON is deployed at the edge of the network (the hotel room), a property needs to be aware of some key design decisions early in the process.
Decisions such as: How am I going to secure a GPON endpoint in the room? How will I power the GPON endpoint in the room? What to do in the event of a power failure, do I need power redundancy? Who can fix problems if they arise, especially if a fiber is cut or broken? These considerations should be a priority when deciding to deploy a GPON solution.
It is essential to resolve these issues with the vendor who sells or supports your long-term solution. Fiber to the room via GPON can provide a marketable advantage to your competition and will provide excellent connectivity. However, you need to align yourself with a trusted partner who adheres to strict contractual service levels should something go wrong. Not thinking long term about a technology decision is a risky mistake.
What is WCI ImpruviX and how does it work? ImpruviX is our division of WCI that focuses on connectivity and digital transformation. It starts with a professional services team acting as a technology architect to assess a property’s current technology, then identify improvements using the latest technology, design tools, and product packages. We do this by running a number of workshops and meetings with different levels of current ownership, management and suppliers. We then recommend a series of strategies to achieve each property’s long-term goals.
We understand that there is no single strategy when it comes to providing hospitality to guests. We believe that in order to become your most reliable partner, we must be the single point of contact so that you can focus on your core business, operating hotels, which is why we also offer the technologies that we recommend. . Being involved from the initial vision and the design phase throughout day-to-day operations is the only way we can stay true to our promise to deliver every time, without exception.
With ImpruviX, we can support connected applications such as smart room technology, including light and thermostat controls, digital locks and window treatments, giving guests more personalization of their stay. . ImpruviX also offers environmental monitoring with smart flooring, sensors and leak detectors that help hotels increase operational efficiency while lowering costs. Additionally, ImpruviX can deploy AI-based surveillance cameras to protect a hotel’s brand reputation while creating a safe and comfortable environment for guests and staff.
What other services does World Cinema offer to hotels? At WCI, our ultimate mission is to become a hotel owner’s trusted advisor and the # 1 choice for in-room entertainment solutions, connectivity experiences, professional services, and any technology that positively impacts guests. customers, staff and owners. Through our partnership with DISH, we provide free TV programming that meets customer needs while meeting a wide variety of brand standards. We also deliver premium entertainment solutions through our fully customizable WorldVue platform, providing customers with the most innovative entertainment technology and services available.
WorldVue allows guests to access their favorite content through streaming apps and broadcast technology. Additional features include a personalized in-house channel for hotels to showcase their property or even offer in-room workouts, and contactless technology such as a mobile web remote, cashier and concierge services in the room. bedroom, all accessible via the bedroom television. As guest trends have changed dramatically over the past year, we see that the ability to have autonomy and control over their stay continues to be a driving force among guest expectations, making the need to personalized and immersive digital experiences more important than ever.
WCI also provides professional services using a dedicated team of technology engineers, systems designers and project managers from the development stages to ongoing support. WCI serves as a single point of contact for hotels when it comes to installation, service and support for in-room entertainment and connectivity solutions.
Is there anything else your company is working on for the hospitality industry that might interest our readers? WCI continues to evolve our business to enable owners of hotels and other guest-centric properties to take advantage of new opportunities generated by technology solutions. This includes working with other technology providers to provide complete and successful executions of a property’s technology strategy. By forming tight integrations through partnerships or the acquisition of leading technology providers, we can provide properties with the most advanced technology strategy that is customer focused through reliability and communication.
We are also venturing into the digital transformation space to support large companies and entire portfolios with end-to-end solutions. This includes managed network services, global connectivity, edge cloud computing, IT agility unified communications and more.
Our Customer Service Center continues to be an area of focus for us as we understand the need for a responsive and reliable partner. This is something we are always proud of and we are excited to launch an in-house program called WCI University to give our team a cohesive and cutting-edge training and development resource. We believe that the value we deliver to our customers is directly proportional to the investment we make in our people.