Industry Update
Supplier News24 September 2010

Telephony, Internet access, IPTV and videoconferencing: Starling Hotel at EPFL works with Swisscom as a total solution provider

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HOIST (former Swisscom)

The Starling Hotel at EPFL is one of the first hotels in Europe to deploy Swisscom's convergent suite of IP guest services. IPTV, HD room entertainment, guest telephony, wired and wireless Internet access, as well as HD videoconferencing are all delivered through the hotel's Category-6 telephone network. Working with Swisscom as a single solution provider, the Starling at EPFL has reduced the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for these applications whilst impressing guests with superior service, quality and personalisation.


The Starling at EPFL, which opened for business in April, occupies a strategic location in the centre of Lausanne's university business district (EPFL being Switzerland's federal polytechnic university). With its 154 guest rooms and its spacious meeting facilities, it welcomes a diverse clientele of business travellers, scientists and students. Thanks to its splendid location on the shores of Lake Geneva and its proximity to the Lavaux vineyard terraces, this 4-star hotel also attracts an important number of leisure travellers from all over the world.

Swisscom is the hotel's total solution provider, overseeing the design, installation and management of the hotel's converged network infrastructure; guest room bandwidth requirements; the conference area and the back-office; the installation and provisioning of a hotel-customised IPTV and entertainment solution; and the integration of the HD videoconferencing service supplied by LifeSize, a Logitech company.

"Our guests rely on a comprehensive technology offering as much as on a big and comfy bed", explains Thomas Brugnatelli, General Manager of The Starling at EPFL. "However, while beds are a one-time expenditure, technology could easily become a liability and an uncontrollable cost factor. I am very grateful that with Swisscom, we have built a scalable network that allows us to adapt to new guest demands and an ongoing demand for increased bandwidth. Through our Ethernet cabling, we have been able to streamline all central communication and entertainment services. This gives us a grip on cost and a single technology partner to work with."

"At the outset, the Starling contacted us for a PBX system", remembers Nicolas Katsis from Swisscom's Corporate Business Unit, who manages the Starling account. "They were surprised to discover that Swisscom could design an IP-convergent hotel infrastructure that supports application sharing, which translates into cost savings for the hotel. The second good news was that Swisscom could deliver hospitality-specific solutions such as IPTV and wireless printing through its 100% subsidiary Hospitality Services, and integrate these applications with their back-office property management system. I believe this is far more than the client originally expected from us."

Guests at the Starling benefit from seamless Wi-Fi connectivity property-wide and wired Internet access in their rooms and in the conference area. Moreover, with HD video conferencing being deployed, the next generation of meeting technology is awaiting them. Adds Thomas Brugnatelli: "Today's corporate clients want to see a higher return on their conference investment. They expect their employees to be more productive. Why shouldn't we offer them a service that makes their conference budgets lighter and their meetings more effective?"