With the help of Arrow Business Communications, QHotels decided to embark on a group-wide upgrade of their existing Mitel telephony system to a new IP based Mitel solution. As part of this initiative QHotels decided to review all aspects of its communications infrastructure.
One of major problems that they had been dealing with was an old DECT system. The old DECT system had poor coverage and was expensive to maintain due to the constant churn in broken handsets. QHotels turned to Arrow, its long standing telecoms partner, to see what new and innovative alternatives there might be.
After some initial discussions around Wi-Fi and IP-DECT, Arrow brought QHotels to the attention of a new solution, a Private Mobile Network. The Private Mobile Network uses picocells instead of Wi-Fi Access Points or DECT base stations and uses standard unlocked GSM mobile handsets, as extensions off the PBX instead of dedicated DECT or Wi-Fi handsets. Private Mobile promised better coverage and the use of standard, low cost GSM handsets vastly reduced the cost of future handset repairs or replacements.
By employing a Private Mobile solution QHotels could take advantage of all the benefits of a dedicated, on-site GSM network. In addition they could also utilise the flexibility of GSM technology but with no mobile contracts and with no voice, text or data charges.
Amir Malik, Arrow’s Telephone System Product Manager comments, ”The implementation of picocells in this architecture was the first of its kind in the UK. We worked closely with Dan Kelly’s team and the Mitel experts to ensure the implementation went smoothly with minimal disruption to the running of the hotel.”
The first site to upgrade to Mitel IP and Private Mobile was Ashford International in Kent. This hotel was able to replace 18 DECT base stations with just six picocells, which improved coverage.
Staff now benefit from full coverage wherever they are in the hotel using mobile devices of their choice. The more robust mobile handsets have a far longer battery life than the old DECT devices and provide staff with the added benefit of the standard handset features such as CLI, text messaging, cameras and even a torch at no extra cost. Dual SIM handsets have also been deployed so that staff can call over the Private or Public Mobile Networks. QHotels plans to roll out Private Mobile across another six sites across the UK, including the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
“I think one of the keys benefits for us is the simplicity of using a mobile phone as an extension of our PBX,” says Daniel Kelly. “Everyone knows how to use one, they are easily available and cost effective”. He adds “it makes maintaining and using our mobile communications much more cost effective, efficient and user friendly.”
Seamless transfer of services
“Installation was delivered with the highest level of professionalism“, says Daniel Kelly, IT Group Manager of QHotels. “Working with Arrow has allowed QHotels, to focus on their primary activity of providing an efficient service to its valuable guests. The staff at each hotel now have easier use of the IP phones with all its enriching features, helping them to work more efficiently”.