Mandarin Oriental Selects Sprint For IP Communications System

In a first-of-its kind agreement for Sprint in the hospitality industry, the communications company today announced it has signed a multiyear agreement with Mandarin Oriental to provide an IP Communications system at the soon-to-open Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. hotel. Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., is the first hotel in the nation to begin deployment of a Sprint VoIP offering.
Sprint, using infrastructure supplied by Cisco Systems, will deploy the Cisco IP Communications system at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., allowing it to put its voice and data services on the same network. Using a converged network enables Mandarin Oriental to provide voice and data traffic to all areas of the hotel—guest rooms, meeting rooms and offices—over a single network, allowing it to operate more efficiently and cost effectively than can be accomplished with separate networks. It also provides a solid foundation for future technology growth, allowing it to easily offer services ranging from security and mini-bar to advanced video and entertainment applications.

“We chose to work with Sprint and Cisco because they are industry leaders in providing high-quality communications solutions,” said Nick Price, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s chief information officer and chief technology officer. “Importantly, they understand the role that technology can play in the hospitality industry, from offering value-added in-room guest services to improving our operations. The combination of Sprint’s network and service strengths with the equipment expertise of its strategic partner, Cisco, not only addressed our current infrastructure and communications needs, but will also grow with our future telecommunications needs.”

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., overlooking the Tidal Basin, is part of the Portals project, a premier mixed-use development comprising significant upscale office, retail and restaurant components located in the southwest sector of the city. It has 400 guestrooms, including 51 suites, and 34,000- square feet of meeting space, including an 8,300-square-foot pillar-less Grand Ballroom for up to 900 people and a 5,000-square-foot outdoor event lawn overlooking the water. The property includes a 10,400-square-foot full service spa and fitness facility with indoor lap pool, themed wet areas, and eight treatment rooms providing Oriental-inspired spa and wellness treatments. The property is expected to open in March 2004.

“Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., is taking a visionary approach with its communications network,” said Marty Leavengood, Sprint director of hospitality sales. “A VoIP infrastructure gives the hotel a platform that provides tremendous flexibility and will allow it to easily implement new technology and applications in the future.”

Together, Sprint and Cisco are aligned in a strategic relationship that focuses on meeting customer needs for IP equipment and services through shared market research, joint development of new products and technologies, and joint sales and marketing.