3Com and Apple Core Offer Wireless Access

MARLBOROUGH, Mass.——Aug. 13, 2003—High-Speed Internet Service in Guest Rooms and Hotel Facilities Extends Moderately-Priced Hotels` Advantage Over Pricier Competitors Ê

The hospitality industry in New York City may be struggling, but Apple Core Hotels enjoyed 92 percent occupancy last year, thanks to sophisticated services like business centers, voice mail and video-on-demand at significantly lower rates - as little as $89 - than most of their midtown Manhattan competitors. To extend its reputation for value in the ultra-competitive business travel marketplace, Apple Core Hotels is now providing high-speed Internet service using a secure, cost-effective wireless solution from 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS). Road warriors now have corporate-class connectivity that`s easy to use, ubiquitous and absolutely free—without the sticker shock of luxury hotels.
Apple Core Hotels chose the 3Com(R) solution to avoid the costly, disruptive process of dragging new cables and installing Ethernet wall jacks in every guest room. The hotel chain instead implemented 3Com Access Point 8000 wireless LAN access points in hallways throughout its five hotels, including the Red Roof Inn Manhattan, the Comfort Inn Midtown, the Super 8 Hotel Times Square, the Ramada Inn East Side and the La Quinta Manhattan. It also deployed 3Com 2.5 dBi Ceiling Mount Omnidirectional Antennae in wiring closets at the end of every hallway to create seamless Wi-Fi coverage in every building.
Today, when guests launch their browsers on their wireless laptops, they can instantly be online, from bedside to lobby. 3Com Wireless LAN Workgroup Bridges in guest rooms provide plug-and-play Ethernet ports for users without wireless capabilities.
“3Com delivered a versatile, reliable solution that allows our guests to get online quickly, easily and conveniently,” said Vijay Dandapani, chief operating officer of Apple Core Hotels. “Using 3Com wireless systems, Apple Core Hotels is now an even more attractive alternative to luxury hotels that charge by the minute for Internet service, and we spent half a million dollars less than the cost of an equivalent wired solution.”
Using the 3Com Wi-Fi network, business travelers need not install software or reconfigure their systems. They can instantly be connected to Apple Core Hotels` Internet Service Provider (ISP), able to check their email, share files and browse the Internet at speeds of up to 11 megabits per second (Mbps) Ethernet—almost 200 times faster than a dialup connection. Moreover, their in-room phone lines are not tied up. Built-in encryption and support for multiple security options keeps their data safe from prying eyes as it travels over the wireless network. Because each access point supports up to 256 simultaneous users, setting up conference room connectivity is a snap, requiring no additional wiring or IT assistance to provide ample bandwidth even to large groups.
The wireless solution allows Apple Core Hotels to renovate individual rooms without interfering with guests` network access from other locations, improving customer service and ensuring as many rooms as possible are available for booking at any given time. Moreover, the hospitality group can easily expand coverage by adding access points in common areas—a process that takes just hours and requires no construction.
Reliable, Flexible, Easy to Deploy - Apple Core Hotels quickly realized that Wi-Fi was the only practical, cost-effective way to bring high-speed connectivity to a total of 750 guest rooms at a cost low enough to enable the hotel group to offer the service free of charge. The firm turned to its value added reseller, CDW of Chicago, for a solution that combined high performance with low cost of ownership. After evaluating competitive products, Apple Core Hotels selected 3Com wireless products for their superior performance. They delivered flawless connections, even at two hotels within range of the Empire State Building`s multitude of broadcast antennae. The 3Com wireless LAN solutions` ease of installation and use, requiring only minimal oversight by Apple Core Hotels` one-person IT staff, were also decisive factors.
Deployed initially in mid-April, the 3Com Wi-Fi solution was put to the test on its first day when a television crew needed group access in a conference room. The crew members turned on their laptops, launched their web browsers, and were instantly connected to the Internet.
“When you roll out something new, you anticipate glitches, but our 3Com wireless network has performed flawlessly from the start,” Dandapani concluded. “Our guests love the convenience, quality, and value—and we love our ability to offer five-star services at budget rates. Thanks to 3Com, we`re competing for customers with much bigger, more prestigious hotel groups, and we`re winning.”
About Apple Core Hotels - Apple Core Hotels properties include the brand new La Quinta Inn Manhattan (17 West 32nd Street), Red Roof Inn Manhattan (6 West 32nd Street), the smoke-free Comfort Inn Midtown (129 West 46th Street), Super 8 Hotel Times Square (59 West 46th Street), and the Ramada Inn East Side (161 Lexington Avenue). For information or reservations, contact Apple Core Hotels at (800) 567-7720 or (212) 790-2710. For real-time reservations, log on to Apple Core Hotels` new interactive Web site, www.applecorehotels.com.
About 3Com - 3Com is a tier-one provider of innovative, practical and high-value voice and data networking products, services and solutions for enterprises of all sizes and public sector organizations. For further information, please visit www.3com.com, or the press site www.3com.com/pressbox.
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