Top Florida hotel becomes Private 5G pioneer

A Florida hotel has become one of the first major names in the US hospitality sector to provide its guests with a 5G high-speed wireless private network.

 

The network in use with the Gale South Beach is enabled by CBRS spectrum, and uses software from Airspan Networks. The initiative is backed by GFO Investments, a private wealth management advisory firm focused on real estate development and hospitality ventures.

 

“This new technology will provide hotel guests with the fastest and most responsive digital connectivity available, impacting both guest engagement and hotel operations,” said Russell Galbut, chairman of GFO Investments. “Launching at The Gale South Beach will open new doors for hoteliers, enabling operators to revolutionize their offerings with new technology, both in-room and across hotel campuses.”

 

He added that the new 5G solution will improve the hotel guest experience by providing high quality indoor and outdoor high-speed voice and data coverage and hotspot capabilities on property. With the exponential growth of video conferencing, he added that 5G eliminates the typical problems related to virtual meetings. Additionally, hotel operators can streamline operations with rapid communication between different systems. The new technology allows for faster automated check-in and check-out procedures for Hilton Honors loyalty members, which cuts labor costs and eliminates lines that are irritating for guests. With 5G, all systems are interconnected and communicate seamlessly in real-time.

 

“The Gale South Beach has always strived for innovation by acquiring new technological advancements,” said Jared Galbut, President of Hospitality for GFO Investments. “The rooms already have contactless guest engagement and touchless room controls through Google Nest Hub and Volara. Now, with 5G technology, these in-room amenities can be unified and effortlessly controllable through apps using the new network. We plan to continually advance our technological amenities as the industry grows, providing our guests with the most cutting-edge offerings available.”

 

The CBRS network will cover the hotel property, both indoors and outdoors, offering 5G mobile coverage for guests visiting the hotel’s dining outlets, rooftop pool, public spaces and guest rooms. The hotel’s staff will benefit from having access to this private network to provide hotel operations teams with voice and data applications including intranet and Internet access, Push to Talk (PTT) services and reliable video, along with streaming services for hotel guests to use on their smartphones. The network is being deployed with dozens of radios strategically placed throughout the hotel for optimal coverage and performance exclusively for the hotel’s clientele and staff.

 

“This deployment is a great example of how 5G private network deployments using CBRS can and will transform the hospitality industry,” said Airspan Chairman and CEO Eric Stonestrom. “Airspan is a leader in 5G private network deployments, and we are proud to work with GFO Investments to provide this innovative network solution in one of the first CBRS deployments of its kind at a US hotel.”

 

Citizens Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS, is a 150 MHz-wide slice of the radio airwaves set aside by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the deployment of 5G private networks, eliminating for the first time the need to acquire expensive spectrum licenses.

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Book of the Month*

The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck

By Dr Christian Busch
Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. To other people it looks like “good luck”, but it is more the ability to recognise and seize an opportunity, rather than have good fortune thrust upon one. Finding a wallet stuffed with money on the conference room floor is good luck, whereas holding it up and asking if anyone has lost their wallet might be the beginning of a valuable friendship – that would be serendipity.

Chance encounters, or strokes of fortune, feature in countless stories of business success. This book looks beneath the surface, reveals and teaches the mindset that can transform pure chance into opportunity. The author is director of the Global Economy Program at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, and a lecturer at the London School of Economics.

Serendipity is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. To other people it looks like “good luck”, but it is more the ability to recognise and seize an opportunity, rather than have good fortune thrust upon one. Finding a wallet stuffed with money on the conference room floor is good luck, whereas holding it up and asking if anyone has lost their wallet might be the beginning of a valuable friendship – that would be serendipity.

The author says “This is a book about the interactions of coincidence, human ambition and imagination”. In the above example: finding the wallet is the coincidence; ambition is the desire to make something of the discovery; add imagination and you open up a whole menu of possibilities: from spending spree to earning a reputation for honesty – or even making a wealthy friend.

Business is typically forged on human ambition and imagination, but early success often feeds an appetite for control – and “control freaks” can be blind to the opportunities thrown up by the unexpected. They only see chance events as distractions. If plans go awry, they may blame the failure on “bad luck” rather than admit their own inflexible attitude.

The author himself admits to being “a German who is used to planning” and prone to feel anxious when something unexpected happens. That makes him an ideal teacher, because he has worked hard to discover and analyse the mindset that enables one to “connect the dots” and cultivate serendipity. He presents a goldmine of examples from science, business and life where an apparent mishap or failure lead to a breakthrough.

Indeed, studies suggest that around 50% of major scientific breakthroughs emerge as the result of accidents or coincidences. A well-known example is Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, launching the whole field of antibiotics. Other examples include X-rays, nylon, microwave ovens, rubber, Velcro, Viagra and Post-it Notes – where would we be without these!

The book goes beyond the ability to recognise and respond to opportunities in chaos, but the subtitle – The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck – is actually a bit misleading. True, he does show ways to develop better fortune, but it would be better to call it “inviting” or “encouraging” good luck. For example, he suggests better ways to start a conversation with a stranger – ways that will make it more likely to lead to chance connections or shared interests.

The publishers may have chosen the word “creating” to make the book appeal to the human desire to control – for control freaks are exactly the readership that would benefit the most from this book’s wisdom and practical advice.

For the rest of us, it offers a great way to rediscover the sense of play that is so important in life – and too often lost in business.

 

“Following the success of The Serendipity Mindset hardback, a paperback edition has also now been launched under the title “Connect the Dots”.

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