Unstoppable Wireless Access in Europa-Park Hotels, Germany

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Unstoppable Wireless Access in Europa-Park Hotels, Germany

“That’s exactly what we need. Unobtrusive access points that the guests can’t see or that blend harmoniously into the environment, while at the same time providing stable, high-performance wireless network access.”

Steffen Waldmann, Hotel Bell Rock, Germany

Background

Europa-Park, located in Rust, is the largest theme park in Germany and the second most popular theme park resort in Europe. Europa-Park has very high capacity rollercoasters and attractions, meaning the park can accommodate up to approximately 50,000 guests per day and has seven hotels within the park. Four years ago hotel guests rarely asked about wireless Internet access, whereas today’s guests increasingly travel with three or more WiFi-capable mobile devices so that they may want to use Internet with their devices simultaneously during their stay and for which they expect a permanently available wireless LAN network. The electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones and e-readers require high-speed Internet access that is not only stable but also offers complete, deadspot-free coverage.

Challenges

The original networks in Europa-Park were unstable, and they sometimes just crashed, and the vendor supports were unable to meet the demands from a smooth-running hotel operation. Another challenge is that each hotel in Europa-Park has its own legacy and condition. Hospitality solution has to perform the balancing act of providing full-coverage integration of the access points inside the buildings without ruining the look and feel of the respective hotel as they were all designed with a specific theme. 

To improve Internet access services, installations have to be customized according to different conditions, and trainings for in-house technicians and pre-sale services are essentials to the success.

Solutions and Benefits

As the core of installations and central network access control, the ZyXEL USG2000 was chosen for its comprehensive security protection and the fibre optic links to individual hotel (El Andaluz, Castillo Alcazar, Santa Isabel, Colosseo and Bell Rock as well as the Camp Resort and guesthouse Circus Rolando). Two ZyXEL XGS-4728F core switches were chosen as the redundant solution. For network access, ADSL2+ and Ethernet broadband technology were both employed. A DSLAM IES-1248-51A was deployed to convert fibre optic transmission into ADSL signals and was connected to P-660HN-F1Z to provide Internet via DSL, while L2 GbE Switches, GS-40212F (Please refer to XGS-4528F for the replacement) and ES-2024PWR (Please refer to ES3500-24HP for the replacement), are selected to provide Ethernet network access. The ES-2024PWR is also the power source for the connected access points so that access points do not need external power sources and this significantly streamlines the network infrastructure.

For monitoring the entire network in such a large scale of deployment, Europa-Park uses ZyXEL’s ENC monitoring and configuration software that enables administrators to see the status at a glance and ensure everything is working smoothly. Although more than 1000 IT components are installed, they are all indicated clearly in the building plans.

Upon the successful implementation of this project, ZyXEL equipment including three fibre optic switches (two XGS-4728F and one XGS-4528F), 3 DSLAMs (IES-1248-51A) with the accompanying 144 P-660HN-F1Z modems, more than 100 switches (ES-2024PWR and GS-4012F), over 100 fibre optic modules and over 700 access points (NWA3160-V2, NWA1100, NWA3560-N, NWA3160-N, NWA1121-NI and NWA1300-NJ) has been installed in the 7 hotel complexes. Internet connections are significantly improved after the installations, and the number of guest inquiries to the staff after the installation has dropped to virtually zero.

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