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A green network for a green paradise

Fiber proves how it's the greenest connection medium for smart hotels.

By Jia Lin, Chief Marketing Expert, Campus OptiX, Huawei & Liang Yali, Marketing Communication Expert, Huawei

Tengchong city in China’s Yunnan province is nestled in a valley rich in volcanic rocks. The volcanoes and geothermal heat lend Tengchong a warm, comfortable climate as well as magical natural scenery that attracts artists and creators from all over the world, including world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma. Inspired by the natural scenery, he designed The Lost Stone Villas & Spa, the largest hot spring resort complex in Asia. The resort’s buildings are crafted from six different types of local stone in a mosaic pattern. Seen – or rather not seen – from a distance, they are gently camouflaged, unobtrusively dotting the mountains.

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The Lost Stone aims to reflect harmony between people and nature, a theme reflected in the resort’s guest rooms, catering, and leisure facilities. The 400 resort villas are nestled in a mountain valley, scattered across 300,000 square meters. In each, hot spring temperature control, room lighting, and room service are all underpinned by intelligent tech.

The Lost Stone blends perfectly with the natural landscape of Yunfeng Mountain. So, how was the network that carries the resort’s smart services integrated into the resort?

The optical network is the first step to building a smart hotel

At the design stage, Kuma left his creative mark everywhere, pre-designing a pattern for each wall including the size, thickness, color, and even shape of the stones. Walking among the villas today, it’s impossible to find any repeated patterns.

As technology advances, new types of experience continue to emerge. Upgrading bearer networks in reinforced concrete buildings is done every day, but in iconic architectural works like The Lost Stone, cabling solutions must be designed early on to minimize any damage to the buildings.

With the buildings scattered over some distance, a long-distance network was essential, with the developer considering optical fiber right away. Without the 100-meter barrier of traditional copper LAN cabling, optical fiber wiring could be flexibly extended around the complex. Fiber would also negate the need for the many equipment rooms that are indispensable to copper LANs. Network upgrades would only require replacing terminal equipment, enabling continuous upgrades to bandwidth and experience.

O&M has never been so easy

Blending both technology and art, The Lost Stone resort harnesses technology from check-in to check-out, providing a concierge-like service every step of the way.

Each villa is equipped with three telephones to call staff and an outdoor private hot spring pool. Water temperature can be adjusted either by calling housekeeping or through a smart device. With sprinkled rose petals and a blessing ceremony performed by staff, the experience is designed for guests to feel a sense of serenity and unity with nature when sliding into their hot spring pool – the fatigue and stresses of city life melting away. The phones and smart control systems for water temperature are connected by the same fiber network. Offering a service life of up to 30 years, optical fiber will not oxidize or corrode in the humid environment of the mountain.

The Lost Stone fiber network acts like a neural network, sensing the individual needs of guests in real time. As well as water temperature control and phone and room service, the fiber network carries over 10 other applications, including light adjustment, wired Internet access, wireless entertainment, and security. Different services can be categorized and carried according to priority, so that the hotel can respond to every guest's needs. Services based on fiber are long-lasting and stable, and can cement the resort's reputation for an outstandingly smooth and reliable network experience, one that doesn’t take guests out of an otherwise relaxing experience. 

The Lost Stone adopted Huawei Campus OptiX solution to carry multiple services over one fiber, with the simplified network architecture making O&M easier. Each villa is connected to the fiber network with optical terminals, which require zero configuration to go online, deployed in every room. For a traditional LAN, a resort needs a maintenance team of three to five people. Now, just one staff member can manage the network, lowering O&M pressures and operating costs. In a traditional multi-layered network layout, there are more network nodes to be maintained. The fiber network manages all services on the physical layer, which significantly reduces the amount of engineering needed.

Green optical for green operations

Made from quartz sand, a pure natural raw material, optical fiber uses 60 to 75 percent less energy than copper. Huawei Campus OptiX solution for hotel campuses employs a passive optical LAN. As fiber offers a stable signal and lower attenuation during transmission, transmission efficiency is higher and network architecture is also simplified. At The Lost Stone resort, using an all-optical network to carry multiple services over one fiber reduces energy consumption by 30 percent and reduces wiring footprint in rooms by 80 percent, compared to a traditional Ethernet switch network of the same size.

By adopting the Huawei Campus OptiX solution, The Lost Stone has been able to extend connections over long distances, minimizing the need for equipment rooms and saving energy costs on air conditioners and other hardware. The system saves around 200,000 kWh of electricity a year, equivalent to a 160-ton reduction in carbon emissions – or planting an additional 15 acres of forest on Yunfeng Mountain.

Tengchong’s local stone is a gift from nature and the villas are artistic gems scattered throughout the valley. Organically connecting technology, nature, and art, the fiber network enables the hotel to better serve guests who come from far and wide to see this enchanting place.

"Huawei Campus OptiX solution provides high-quality network connections for hotel smart services and promotes green operations,” said Chen Lei, Deputy General Manager of The Lost Stone Villas & Spa. “It also represents the future trend of network construction in the hotel industry. I believe that our partnership with Huawei will boost our competitiveness and continue to provide customers with excellent services."