The Use Case for CBRS in Hospitality

Hospitality is just one vertical market that stands poised to benefit from the new spectrum becoming available in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) block. Hotels in particular have a variety of use cases available to them that may prompt them to consider setting up a private CBRS network as part of a heterogenous approach that also includes distributed antenna systems, small cells, Wi-Fi and macro towers.

The primary use case eventually will be to serve guests with public-facing indoor wireless voice and data coverage on their mobile phone or device throughout the hotel property. However, this use case will emerge slowly because it relies on the turnover of devices to those with CBRS chipsets.

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In the meantime, hotels can deploy private CBRS networks to enable a variety of back-office applications aimed at helping them achieve better efficiency, improved security and enhanced guest experiences. Eventually, hoteliers will be able to use the same CBRS network to provide public-facing communications capabilities and private, secure back-of house communications.

“The back-office is a fantastic place to start using CBRS devices,” said Art King, Director, In-Building Networks, at Corning. “IT departments can have the entire control room in their back pockets. Hotel staff can instantly react to developments.”

The back-office capabilities CBRS may provide include replacing hotel private branch exchange telephone systems for staff and guest use, push-to-talk communication for staff, even “panic button” applications to allow hotel staff working throughout the property to quickly call for help. CBRS also can enable a variety of machine communications, including enabling nomadic point of sale terminals for ticket sales, restaurant reservations and spa appointments; tracking equipment and orders throughout the hotel; and monitoring and controlling thermostats, lighting, elevators and power systems. Mobile video monitoring and closed-circuit TV surveillance in parking areas or other locations where wiring can be difficult also could be supported by CBRS.

The benefit of using a private CBRS network to support each of these use cases is that the hotel controls access and prioritizes use of applications on the network, which means a robot delivering room service won’t be interrupted when traffic spikes on the Wi-Fi network, and video on wireless surveillance systems won’t degrade when a large number of guests start making calls on their wireless phone during an incident.

Read more about the hospitality use case in this article written by the HetNet Forum for the January issue of Hotel Executive magazine. Contributing to the article were WIA and HetNet Forum members Vikas Sarawat, director of solution development at Federated Wireless, Juan Santiago; CBRS Product Manager for CommScope; and Art King, Director, In-Building Networks, at Corning.