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April 14, 2008

Cox Deploys in Trump Vegas

Cox Business/Hospitality Network announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Trump International Hotel and Tower to provide telecommunications services to the luxury chain's new 1282-suite facility in Las Vegas.

Real Estate magnate Donald Trump and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the $1.2 billion 64-story hotel last Friday. Casinos are not part of this development.

The hotel opened its doors last week, but had already welcomed Cox as its partner for in-room voice, video and data services. "That contract was executed probably a year ago," said John Fountain, VP Technology, Cox Business/Hospitality Network, Las Vegas.

"We've been working on that project hard for the last six or nine months," he said. 

Mostly triple play 

Fountain called the Trump deployment "one of a handful of triple-play hotels" that Cox has done, with the proviso that voice is delivered not to the end user, but rather as standard TDM PRIs via SONET ring architecture to the hotel's demarc. Total throughput to the hotel is 100 Mbps.

On the video side, Cox works here as in other hotelier deployments with nStreams. In this case, Cox is using the nStreams 5.0 system, which enables HDTV, free-to-guest and VOD with trick-play services. Video feeds 42-inch LG LCD HDTV flatscreens in the bedrooms and living rooms, and 19-inch LG analog flatscreen monitors in the bathrooms.

The VOD servers are not part of a centralized system, but rather scaled to the property. Given a year-round Los Vegas occupancy rate of 95-plus percent, Fountain said the VOD system faced accordingly high concurrency demands.

Data is provided via Ethernet ports, as well as via Wi-Fi 802.11abg through Cisco Systems Aironet 1100 series access points that are hidden in every eighth room and "backhauled" via Ethernet through the hotel's CAT-5 wiring.

Cox acts as a systems integrator for these types of projects, with a big challenge being the matrix of billing options. "I have five different billing methods, multiplied by five or six different systems types, multiplied by six different combinations that customers like," Fountain said. 

Big business 

Cox serves all hotels over 500 rooms in Las Vegas, with the exception of three, and has 20 percent of the city's convention business, according to Fountain.

Studio rates at the Hilton start at $379. Three-bedroom penthouse suites top out at $5,000.

- Jonathan Tombes







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