Cat6, Cat6A, Fiber Low Voltage Cable Planning & Installation
GISTEK.US Networks has been deploying network cable for years in hotels, commercial buildings, outdoor areas for large resorts and for external Wi-Fi ranging from Cat5/6A, Fiber, LMR and large coaxial cable for DAS – ERCSYS systems. We got our nickname and job description Geeks with Power Tools, years ago from one of our Navy partners as we had to constantly install network cables in various scenarios ranging from aquatic docksides (at marinas,) to interior to exterior cabling needed for point to wireless WAN microwave solutions to connect schools back to the district office and military bases, ranging out to several miles. In the process we use a variety of tools and skills to cut concrete between floors, core old plaster walls several inches thick (harder than concrete,) and run several hundred feet of conduit (EMT and Schedule 40) on walls, underground, between floors or whatever was needed to protect cables being deployed indoors or outdoors.
Over the course of time, we have deployed several miles of cable (200 to 600,00’ per hotel,) and terminated and tested (we use Fluke testing,) probably several hundreds of thousands of terminations frequently having to cut and replace drywall and plaster in the process and crossing over multiple firewalls. GISTEK staff is also STI certified to deploy their firewall penetration solutions which is one of the regularly recognized vendors at most new build hotels and structures. (Pictures of STI Penetration & cable plant pictures.
IHG, Marriott, Hilton & Choice Branded Solutions
GISTEK partners with Ovation Networks, the Number 1, IHG Integrator (2020-21 survey results,) Primus Contracting and others to deploy multiple flag Network and low voltage cable plant solutions for Wi-Fi, Back Office, Video, Telephony, back office and DAS solutions.
Rebuilds, PIPs, New Build Technology Planning & Integration
Whether you are doing a simple technology upgrade to your Wi-Fi or Video Surveillance, a PIP, Rebuild / Re-Flag or building a new hotel from the ground, we can help starting at the planning stages. Most architects can give you the approved design, but regularly fail to know the flag’s needs when it comes to designing the low voltage cable plants and equipment room needs to meet today’s standards as required by Marriott, IHG, Hilton and Choice.
GISTEK.US is one of the few Low Voltage companies who also deploy all the hotel technologies (Wi-Fi, Back Office, Telephony, Video and DAS.) This puts us in a unique position to know what is required as we will actually be deploying those networks at the conclusion of the LV cable plant. In many cases the equipment rooms (MDF & IDF) locations are non-existent as are the required pathways to deploy cables to each room, install them in the right locations and at the proper heights that will meet the both the Flag’s requirements and position the WiFi & telephony devices for optimum use (Optimum use is further defined as having the best and maximum coverage potential of the Wi-Fi device signal -65 or better (IHG) so that the guest has the best connectivity experience at the hotel.) This is the key component to achieving the number one ranking by IHG, it starts in the new build, rebuild or site surveys.
Guys that just run cable have no clue about these underlying requirements. In many projects that we didn’t run the cable, we usually have to do a change order to bring those properties up to spec so that they will achieve the proper signal specs as prescribed by the flag.
Hotel Opening, Planning, Consulting & Emergency Services
With over 30 years of network integration in hotels and other commercial environments, we work regularly with IHG, Hilton, DSR, Oracle, Assa Abloy, HP, Cox, Spectrum, Comcast and other technology vendors. When others aren’t available to do onsite consulting, we are! During the Covid-19 pandemic we have successfully helped several hotels open while completing the final technology services, working with the remote vendors to get everything working and get the hotel open. Our consulting division, T-60, was designed specifically for this purpose.
Emergency IT Services – Whether we are called by a GM or someone from IHG, we have been responsive in helping several hotels deal with emergency situations from video surveillance issues (usually a police or legal event,) to downed power which knocks out networks and key making systems. Knowing the typical network topology, VLAN and VPN methods deployed at the properties we have successfully been able to restore Assa Abloy key making at multiple hotels. Many hotels are short handed these days with far too much for the GM and their staff to handle. We have staff well versed in Opera and Assa Abloy with direct contacts at all the major vendor support desks. In a recent emergency call, we restored an Assa Abloy system’s key making abilities, assisted at the front desk and made 50 key sets for incoming guests. The hotel was overwhelmed and short handed as several housekeeping staff were sick, so managers were cleaning rooms and we were able to help.
Wi-Fi Planning, Integration & Support
Planning for Wi-Fi starts at the site survey. It does not matter whether its Aruba, Ruckus or Meraki, we use AirMagnet placing the access point at the projected broadcast points over the desk, doorway, hallway or common area and then test to Flag standards which range from -55db to -65db. Further, in our experience, we survey more than the Flag Standard covering all floors that have different designs and when surveying hotels with a 2:1 ratio (2 rooms to 1 Access Point aka AP,) we will prove a max 2:1 design. In a recent project, our competitor was simply lazy, surveyed one floor and then told the hotel they needed an AP in every room. Surveying 70% of the property, we proved that 80% of the property would support the 2:1 design saving the client over $70,000 in access points, POE switch ports and installation labor. We have several technical staff trained in Airmagnet, with multiple test devices and we are well versed in channel planning which is essential to keeping guests online.
IHG Connect- Partner with Ovation Networks
GISTEK.US Networks Inc. has partnered with Ovation Networks Inc. (Number One in recent IHG Survey 2020-21) for over 5 years deploying several hundred properties with both IHG Connect and IHG Studio. Our staffs and senior management have many years experience in enterprise, wireless networking, cable plant planning, deployment, testing methodologies and most importantly working closely together as a team completing projects routinely on time with great reviews. Ovation provides 7X24 Guest Support services from their US Based offices in Davenport, Iowa.
WiFi IHG LUV Score Improvement
In late 2020, IHG reduced the authorized vendors from 12 to 6. The bottom 6 just hadn’t been following standards and many of those properties had low LUV scores as reported by their guests. The most common complaint at any hotel is the quality of the Wi-Fi. It has become the number one amenity at all hotels over the past few years. We have taken LUV score testing seriously for several years and it has paid off. When we visit a hotel, (many of which may have been installed 4 years ago or more,) we know how to bring those scores up and improve or even provide 1st time signals to troublesome rooms. Some of the initial installs simply weren’t good with bad placement and in many cases stretching the AP signal too far resulting in no or bad WiFi signals.
We have found Aps upside down, stuffed into fiberglass insulation (causing them to overheat,) or had too many Aps placed on one switch. (70% port utilization of POE ports is the standard, over use causes the power to fluctuate and signals to drop off. The bottom line is if you are with another vendor and you are having score issues and guest complaints due to WiFi, we can guarantee solutions that keep your guests happy and coming back with ANY Wifi product.
Aruba, Ruckus & Ubiquiti Wireless
Over the years we have worked with HP, Aruba, Cisco, Ubiquiti and other products that have been acquired and put into another product line (i.e. Colubris, HP and Aruba.) Even Cisco had its roots in Aironet; we have been there through all these changes providing services based on proper channel and signal deployment. In our history we have channel managed hotels, military bases covering several hundred square miles and school districts using both licensed and unlicensed frequencies with great successes.
While they all have their AUTO features for channel deployment and signal strength; in end we are back to fine tuning manually the good old fashioned way using Airmagnet, Inssider and other tools to deliver the best, properly powered wireless solutions using Aruba, Ruckus, Ubiquiti and Cisco.
Point to Point Wireless Solutions (PTP)
Point to Point Wireless is NOT WiFi. PTP and Multi Point PTMP is almost a lost art going back to the early days of wireless and microwave deployment. Simply stated, a PTP or PTMP solution is 2 to 3 wireless devices connected to a common broadcast AP and they act as a long range Ethernet connection. Your cell service at some point has signal delivered along its path by multiple point to point microwave devices. We use PTP and PTMP to deliver Internet and camera connectivity between buildings that are further away than 100 meters or have no underground conduit connecting them. (100 meters is the maximum IEEE standard distance to deploy Cat6/Cat6A to deliver 1G to 10GB’s.)
We have successfully deployed PTP solutions as far as 14 miles at a ski resort in Vermont and several at 1 to 6 miles at Twenty Nine Palms USMC base and Ocean View School District with both licensed and unlicensed devices. At Fisherman’s Retreat in Redlands, California we use several PTP and PTMP to extend the camera and guest WiFi networks to cover over 350 acres surrounding their lakes with less than 3ms latency added. At one of our hotels in Orange County, California, we put a PTP connection between the back of the hotel’s building to a light pole to provide a full view of the back parking lot with a variable focus 3-12mm variable focus Dahua IP Camera. It’s the owners favorite camera.
Rural Network Solutions
In the olden days of Internet (less than 10 years ago,) the Internet had simply not reached everywhere, but everyone wanted it. Times haven’t changed much, people are building further and further out and the geography of things simply doesn’t lend itself to full deployment of the Internet by traditional carriers. Our first rural deployment was at the Lawrence Welk Resort where they had a neighboring trailer park for retired seniors. They loved their Internet connections but had tired of dialup. Using an extended T-1 from the adjacent resort about ¾ mile, we extended 1.5MB’s to three different tower sites at the retirement community providing services to almost 200 retirees. PP We are currently deploying a similar solution, but fiber backed at Fisherman’s Retreat in Redlands, California to provide high speed Internet to their 100 permanent sites. PP Using Point to Point and Point to Multi-Point technologies we are in the design process of extending Frontier and Spectrum services in the Temecula Valley for homes, ranches and wineries who are starved for bandwidth.
Frontier is now at full capacity in Temecula (previously 90MB, now cutting their clients back to 45MB’s. Working with Spectrum and Starlink (SpaceX,) we will be deploying PTP and PTMP extensions of their networks and dropping in permanent Starlink connections where there is no fiber or coax to extend in hilly regions of the Temecula Valley over 2021-23. The Temecula Valley includes Temecula, Murietta, Hemet and several hundred wineries, now the largest vintner region in Southern California.
WiFi Controller Solutions
In order to manage hotels and large deployments you need to manage guest connectivity. Cisco Meraki has it built in with IHG Connect. But for other venues Marriot, Hilton, botique hotels and rurual deployments we use Nomandix, a tried and true product that has been around for years and is the standard of many hotel brands. Using the Nomadix Solution we can offer a variety of bandwidth packages and when needed can filter content. Click to Nomadix.com and show picture of a Nomadix gateway.