Recommendation for hotel/resort phone

Discussion in '3CX Phone System - General' started by lneblett, Dec 1, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    56
    I would like to hear from others who have experience as to what they might recommend as a good, supported phone for use in a hotel/resort environment. My fear is that most phones have feature sets and a plethora of buttons that will prove daunting, frustrating and problematic for a guest to be able to use effectively. I need PoE capability along with a highly intuitive, user friendly functionality that allows virtually anyone to use as they would a normal hotel style/type phone. I am also a little concerned as some units are comprised of multiple rooms which likely implies multiple phones in a given unit and I assume the desire will be to limit calls in a traditional manor such that if any one extension in the unit is in use, any attempts at an outbound call from one of the other extensions in the same unit would be blocked so as to preserve bandwidth and licensing needs. All phones would presumably be assigned the same extension, so inbound calls could be programmed to hit voice mail if any one of the other extensions is already engaged in another call.

    Appreciate the help.

    Larry
     
  2. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    224
    Keep it simple. Using ATA's with analogue sets is probably the least cost in the long run, especially if you have to replace the sets from time to time due to damage or worse, theft.

    Look for a set with a single line, message waiting indicator, some pre-programmable speed call buttons that can be set-up to operate functions like do-not-disturb, retrieve voicemail, call the front desk, or other "departments", etc. It's better to have a simple set (something they are used to at home), and a card explaining how to dial, than have a set with lots of buttons. For most people, that just gets to be too confusing, and a lot more costly for you.
     
  3. eagle2

    eagle2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    11
    Leejor is absolutely right. I fully support his opinion.

    Otherwise look at Cisco SPA-301 (without display), some low-end Yealink like T9 or even Panasonic HGT-100.
    Cisco can be provisioned automatically.

    Regards.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. nbailey

    nbailey Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Forgive me if I am wrong, but with hotel price's on even local calls and with most folks using cell phones from what I see and hear 80% of the traveling population don't use hotel phones except for room service or wake up calls? Last time I used a hotel phone in LA it cost me $22 for a 3 minute call, not something I will be doing ever again. But the Yealink T26P is a good phone for the price and in my opinion the Cisco SPA-301 is worth nothing more than a door stop.

    Thanks,
    Nate
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. eagle2

    eagle2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    11
    My opinion is using simplest analog phones (like Panasonic TS500, etc.) and VoIP adapters (Grandstream GXW4024, etc.). I fully agree about the value of SPA-301, still the question is whether the cabling is just a telephone pair or Ethernet.

    The reason hotels need to have phones in the room is regulation (varies from country to country) and categorization. Recent European regulations state you must have in bathroom a phone (waterproof) with SOS button (red !) and emergency trigger (rope) into the cabin. Still you need a kind of stupid phone into the hotel room.

    Of course nobody is using hotel phones except calling the next room, restaurant, reception, etc. Only useful point is receiving calls (may be cheaper when abroad and not able to use WiFi). Some hotels block intentionally SIP calls and even tunnels.

    Regards
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    56
    Thanks for the responses. I am not sure what they have now, so ATAs may not be an option, but maybe so. It is a new owner and he wants to revamp all the communications - internet, TV, Phone, etc. I will know more next week when I visit the site. In any event, I am in agreement with simple as that was the premise of the question. I think the T26 is a great phone, but far more complex than what this application needs. I have not seen the T9 and am guessing that this model is centric to Europe as it is not listed on the US Yealink site. I think the SPA301 is a possibility (door-stop is a great way to descibe its looks), but it does not appear to support PoE. I am taking the approach that I will have to keep phones alive in a power outage. I am also looking at the Grandstream 1105 or 285. Modestly priced, PoE capable, fairly simplistic and fully supported (285 anyway). Complicating the issue is that the resort is actually comprised of non-attached villas in a golf course community; hence the desire for fully supported for provisioning. I also assume that being a villa, the desire will be to have multiple phones in each; some have 3 bedrooms. Oh, am I also informed that the new owner wants to do all this via WLAN. I love a challenge.

    Thanks.
     
  7. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    224
    By going with ATA's located in a central location you can make use of any existing two wire phone installation, or if it had to be run in, it would be much less $. It also means that any more than one phone per unit can just be a bridged analogue extension, just watch the ringer load.

    It sounds like they want to do WiFi as the internet offering, so that suggests that they do not want to run Ethernet cabling to each location.
     
  8. eagle2

    eagle2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    11
    For cheaper PoE phone consider also:
    - YeaLink T20p or T22p
    - Panasonic KX-UT113 or KX-UT123
    - Cisco SPA502G

    Panasonic is a great phone (firmware ≥ 1.025).
    The KX-UT123 has also a 2-port switch and costs a little more (+$ 10.-).

    I think lower model Cisco SPA303 is not PoE.

    Generally, you don't need anything else for a hotel room.

    Regards
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. aklawrence

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going through the same exercise for a small hotel right now. I've looked at a ton of different handsets and I went with Telematrix (Cetis)3300IP handsets. They were about $75 each, come with PoE, SIP registration is really straightforward and they have a small footprint. As other posters have stated, it's important to remember that most people no longer use room phones so it's hard to justify replacing analogs with high end handsets. We were pre-wired for Cat 5e so our tipping point between new SIP handsets and ATAs might be a little different than if we only had Cat 3.
    I will admit I do have a Grandstream GXV3175 touchscreen handset on my desk that I'm currently customizing as a beta test. The big advantage (assuming it works as planned) is the ability to push out advertising to those handsets. Only way I could come up with to justify the additional cost.
    Good luck.
     
  10. sigma1

    sigma1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'd look into the Grandstream GXP1405 (PoE) or 1400 (non-PoE). Low cost and fully supported.

    If using analog is an option (best in my opinion), use the GXW4024.

    If going with SIP phones, you can also use some infrastructure WiFi bridges for separate buildings.... many options.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    56
    Well, I visted the site and it will pose some issues. The Villas were built in the late 60's or early 70's. Originally constructed as single family homes, they were subsequently remodeled into rental units. Most of them are 3 bedroom units and during the remodel, they were sectioned off such that each bedroom could be rented and therefore each phone is assigned its own extension number. Each bedroom has an analog phone (Vodavi 2801 with MWI) and the telephone cabling terminates back at the telephone network interface device located on an exterior wall. I am a little nervous on this one as it implies an ATA (GXW4004 or 2 of the HT502, both from Grandtream or even a couple of the Cisco SPA2102 units as they consume less power and have a wider environmental spec) will be needed as replacing wiring does not seem to be in the new owner's plans. This then presents the problem of the ATA placement, powering the ATA and then keeping the ATA environmental issues under control all at a resonable cost. I am uncertain how the interior cabling runs within the walls or attic (a portion of each Villa is two story) so I do not know if I can even gain access to do some minor rerouting in order to avoid an exterior mounting option. I would appreciate hearing from anyone with similar experiences and how they handled. Aslo, does anyone know if the Vodavi 2801 MWI is triggered by FSK? The whole project will approach 60 analog phones followed by some number (20 maybe) of VoIP phones as I will be replacing a older Mitel SX200 system.


    Thanks,
    Larry
     
  12. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    224
    If re-wiring is out of the question, then look into large line number (48 line + a 24 line units?) ATA's. Locate them close, or in the same location as the existing Mitel PBX. All of the existing wiring has to terminate there now so the existing board must be operating in a suitable environment for the ATA. It is probably safe to assume that the PC running 3CX could be located nearby. Make use of one or more UPS units. As long as the current sets at the villas are DTMF then they can be left in place and upgraded on an as needed basis, reducing the initial cost.
     
  13. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    56
    Thanks, I thought of that and your assessment is correct, but it appears that they are using Centrex which, I assume, precludes me from being able to use AT&T''s cabling. Keep in mind that the Villas are scattered about the property and I think I may be challenged distance wise. I will still look into, as when I first saw it I thought of the Granstream 4024 and Patton 4400 series due to the 50 pin telco connectors.
     
  14. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    224
    Odd, because if they are using Centrex, then where does the Mitel PBX come in? Centrex is (in most areas) is a service offering that is cabled from the central office , right to a set.

    As far as the cabling goes, I would check to see who owns that, I suspect the the property owner does, if not then I can't see at&t coming in and ripping it all out, that isn't worth it.

    For the last couple of decades, or so, most new installations required that the owners cover the cost of wiring on private property by bring in their own contractor or having (contracting) someone like at&t install it. Ownership is generally retained by the property owner, you need to check into that.
     
  15. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    56
    True, but recall that the Villas were originally single family homes. The Mitel looks to be serving the local offices and facilities directly with both analog and digital. The Villas are all analog. All are on a PRI and the Villas also have a service gateway
    Along with vdsl Ethernet switches feeding into a MDF. I am back tomorrow to get more info, but the centrex was mentioned by them as AT&T is also reportedly offering a solution. Game on.
     
  16. lneblett

    lneblett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    56
    Thought I would follow-up and perhaps even ask another question or 2. In any event, I went back to the client and the ownership issue regarding the cable plant is still up in the air. The plant was put in over 40 years ago and who exactly owns is a little murky. The cable itself is in horrible shape. AT&T is suggesting that the plant is the property of the owner; yet all the pedestals and NIDs all have the usual AT&T warning stickers and "call -800XXXXXX" for buried cable notices. AT&T is also using a number of the pairs to serve homes that reside in between and next to the rental Villas. The new owners are suggesting that the cable is AT&Ts as they think that like streets in a new development, the plant and easements were dedicated to them back in the late 60's. They also think that AT&T is suggesting that the plant is not AT&Ts as they (AT&T) don't want to invest or be responsible for the repairs to same. Over the years some pairs have failed and unused pairs have been used in their place. The new onwers are now thinking of challengiing AT&T about how, if it is their cable, then why is AT&T using the resort's cable plant to provide service to the aforementioned homes without compensation? Also, if a pair that they (resort) use goes bad and it is their plant, then what stops them from re-possessing a pair used by AT&T? They don't want to antagonize AT&T and are still working with them and researching it more. In any event, the owners are also exploring their options to even include going wireless. If it is their plant, then abandoning it and using wireless is cheaper than replacing/repairing the cable. If it is not their plant, then the concerns reverse as there is nothing on their bill that indicates how or if they have ever paid for its use and no document has yet been found to see if perhaps there was some kind of usage rights that remained with the resort after the dedication (if it ever occured or if even feasible). This is out of my league and not sure how it will shake out.


    In any event, I was curious as to recommendations on best practice with regard to setting up a hotel console. The owners are looking at a 32 Sim Call package with the hotel option to include the PMS. There will be about 70 rooms in the resort for rental purposes along with another 30 or so for the offices, golf course, maintenance, etc. The rentals are/will be analog single line phones with ATA. The owners looked at different makes and liked the Yealink line - nice feature set, attractive and at a modest price point. So, will likely go with a T-28 and a couple of EXP39, but curious as to how others may have addressed a front desk situation in a hotel environment when I think it highly likely that a number of callers may try and get to the front desk/operator all at the same time. Did you set the phone with mutiple extensions with call forwarding if busy to another extension on the same phone so that they could put the first call on hold to at least answer the second and ....so on? This is my first hotel opportunity and I welcome/appreciate input from those who have done this and even from those who haven't (yet), but have thoughts on the matter.

    Thanks and sorry for the long post.
     
  17. leejor

    leejor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,357
    Likes Received:
    224
    You don't even have to resort to call forwarding. If you have a multi key (line) capable set, you can have more than one appearance of the operator extension number (on multiple keys).
    As far as the cable plant goes, you have run into a very typical situation...the cable is usually claimed by the company that installed it (if they still provide service) only if it is in good condition and isn't going to cost $$$ to repair/maintain. Once it looks like it need to be replaced, it's now your responsibility.

    Any company making a bit, is going to say that they need to replace all of the cable, if pairs have begun to fail then there has probably been moisture ingress and it will just get worse.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.