HTNG has released a number White Papers. These efforts reflect hundreds of hours of contributions from some of the best hotel, engineering, and marketing minds in the business.
All of the following white papers have been released to the public domain. HTNG white papers are normally restricted to members only during the first year after their release.
Network Convergence (2005)
Guest of the Future (2005)
Wireless Networking in Hospitality (2006)
Converged Media Set-Top Box (2006)
Converged Wireless using DAS Technologies (2007)
Next-Generation Entertainment Systems (2007)
The first White Paper, released in June 2005 and titled “Convergence: Hotel Technology for Today and Tomorrow,” addresses the issue of network infrastructure in hotels. For years, hotels have been built with separate networks to support different applications, including in-room entertainment systems, telephony, high-speed Internet, building control systems, and administrative systems. The hotel CIO/CTO community has known for years that the redundancy in cabling is costly, and that the historical approach made it difficult to get these different systems to work cooperatively. This White Paper makes the business case for migrating hotels to a single converged network; identifies the alternative infrastructures that should be the targets; and considers the key applications that need to coexist – entertainment, Internet access, telephony, and room controls.
The second White Paper from 2005, “The Guest of the Future: In-Room Technology Preferences Today and Tomorrow” represents an amazing view into the needs of tomorrow’s guests, and what it will take to satisfy them. Hotel rooms being built today will, over the course of their lifetime, be occupied mostly by people who are still under 30, or even 20. Their expectations will not be the same as today’s travelers, and if the hospitality industry is to succeed at meeting those expectations, it needs to understand how the expectations of younger generations differ from those of older ones – and how they are likely to continue to evolve over time.
The third White Paper, released in June 2006, is "A Guide for Understanding Wireless in Hospitality." The advanced communication and wireless capabilities provided by a converged network allow hotels to offer new or improved communication and entertainment services to guests, and to equip staff to respond to guest needs in real time. In addition to answering general deployment question for wireless networks, this discusses various wireless technologies that exist today, and those that will be available in the near future. An extensive glossary is also included to help readers better understand the terms used in the wireless world.
The fourth White Paper, also from 2006, is titled "Next Generation Converged Media Set-Top Box: Guestroom Technology Convergence". It outlines a converged end-point, located in the guest room, that acts as the platform to connect all guest-facing and concealed entertainment, communication, and in-room control functions.
Together with the converged network (see first White Paper above), this design connects the work undertaken by the HTNG Property Web Services Workgroup to allow the next-generation converged media set-top box to communicate effectively with all forms of hospitality applications.
This groundbreaking design ensures that hotels can provide their guests, in their rooms, with services that are managed by other in-house systems, such as property management, point-of-sale, spa reservations, energy management, sales and catering, and other systems. It enables hoteliers to utilize stored guest information to enhance and personalize the guest entertainment, communication, and environmental experience.
Hotels are constantly challenged to delivering WiFi connectivity, mobile phone signals, two-way radio, paging, and other radio-frequency based services. Guests and staff need pervasive coverage, and owners need a future-proof solution with at least somewhat predictable costs.
The fifth white paper, released in June 2007, addresses a single technology that can meet these requirements for many hotels. Titled "A Hotelier's Guide to Converged Wireless Systems using DAS Technologies," it is written for hotel technology buyers responsible for the deployment of wireless networks. The white paper can be downloaded here.
This white paper educates hoteliers and hospitality management organizations on the fundamentals of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), a technology that can support multiple wireless applications, operating on different frequencies and protocols, with a single infrastructure. The white paper reviews the business case for using DAS vs. conventional wireless infrastructures; describes the architecture; covers design, installation, and facility considerations; reviews available vendor solutions; and discusses system compatibilities and supported standards.
Several case studies are also included, including deployments at the Mandarin Oriental New York, the Grande Lake Orlando (Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott), Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, and Peppermill Hotel Casino in Reno.
When hotels are looking to upgrade from older, analog CRT-based television technologies to current and future standards such as flat-panel displays, digital signals, and high-definition, they face a bewildering array of issues. Many hotels have discovered that upgrading to flat-panel displays is nowhere near as simple or inexpensive as they thought, because many older infrastructures cannot deliver acceptable quality pictures on newer, digital displays.
The sixth white paper, released in June 2007, is titled "A Buyer's Guide: Next Generation Entertainment Systems." It is targeted at hotel technology buyers responsible for deploying guestroom entertainment services, including free-to-guest channels, on-demand, television monitors, and delivery infrastructure. It outlines the technical challenges and simplifies the options that hoteliers face in selecting their next generation entertainment systems.
This white paper helps hoteliers understand when and why to upgrade; guest expectations for entertainment services; technology and infrastructure requirements; and requirements for different world regions. It also helps hoteliers understand the types of service providers and the questions to ask them when selecting a new system, and provides a handy glossary of key terms.