Hotel Fiber Upgrades Don’t Have to Disrupt Operations

Kikie Kunplin

Despite the benefits that fiber brings to hotels, many venues put fiber upgrades off for years. Why? Because they’re messy and disruptive. Find out how Belden’s OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cables are changing that.



Many hotels are rethinking their future—and that future involves fiber upgrades.


The 2023 Lodging Technology Study reveals that mobility and self-service technologies are top-of-mind for business and leisure guests—and that’s no surprise.


Hotel visitors are streaming and downloading content on many connected devices at once—not only in their rooms, but also in the lobby, pool area, hallways and restaurants.


Wi-Fi and in-building wireless are vital to support not only the digital expectations of travelers, but also the applications and systems that staff members require. Many hotels are operating with limited numbers of workers and need access to tools that will make their jobs faster and easier—without sacrificing service or brand image.


Fiber upgrades: the future-ready choice


Today, hotels must accommodate things like streaming content. Tomorrow, technology demands will be even greater. As the future unfolds, augmented and virtual reality will become integrated into hospitality environments to allow guests to view interactive hotel rooms before they arrive, augment onsite experiences and train new employees.


Robotic technology will help with housekeeping, delivering towels and toiletries, and concierge services. In smart rooms, guests will be able to manage temperatures, lighting levels and entertainment from their smartphones.


Creating a foundation to manage these innovative capabilities—and the bandwidth they require—calls for a robust network infrastructure and high levels of connectivity.


Fiber upgrades are the obvious future-ready choice for a few reasons.


  1. Fiber offers unlimited bandwidth. No matter how many devices your guests use, they won’t bog down the network or create latency. And no one will experience delays when streaming, downloading or uploading large files.

  2. Fiber supports flexibility. With fiber, you can quickly and easily expand your network without a rip-and-replace scenario as new applications, such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6, are added to the network.

  3. Fiber is secure. Fiber cables don’t emit signals, so there’s no signal leakage or easy way to “listen in” to intercept data transmission.

  4. Fiber isn’t impacted by EMI. Fiber cables don’t produce electromagnetic interference (EMI) and aren’t impacted by EMI generated through crosstalk. They can be deployed next to building equipment without worry.


Plus, installing fiber to the room today will likely provide the connectivity you need in your hotel for at least a few decades, minimizing the need for costly and frequent upgrades down the road.


Why hotel fiber upgrades are often delayed


Despite the many benefits that fiber brings to hotel environments, many venues put fiber upgrades off for years—or as long as possible—even when their existing infrastructure holds their networks back and doesn’t meet guest expectations for connectivity or bandwidth.


Why? Because upgrading from copper systems to fiber systems isn’t always an easy task—especially in a hotel. Fiber upgrades can create major inconveniences and disruptions for staff and guests. Even when you plan ahead, work in sections and schedule quiet hours, disturbances are bound to happen.


When rolling out fiber upgrades for guestroom connectivity, for example, walls or ceilings may need to be opened up, displacing visitors and reducing the number of available guestrooms, which decreases revenue.


Public spaces may need to close temporarily or reduce their hours, which creates frustration for guests who want to use those amenities. The presence of dust, noise and exposed building materials can negatively impact perceptions and experiences.


How to ensure a streamlined fiber project


In addition to the logistics challenges of fiber upgrades, we’ve also seen many hospitality projects constrained by existing fiber cable configurations and pathways. In some cases, system performance is sacrificed to even get the fiber cables into place—including in fiber-to-the-room applications.


That’s why we created OptiTuff™ Mini Fiber Cable. It disrupts the way hospitality environments operate—in a good way.


OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable falls into the same performance category as metal armored products, but it isn’t a metal armored cable.

  • It’s 90% lighter than metal armored cable, has a 70% smaller diameter compared to metal armored cable and is 50% smaller than non-armored cable.

  • It features anti-kink properties and is more flexible than metal armored cable, making it easier to handle—even in small spaces, raceways and environments with tight and challenging turns.

  • It’s more cost effective because no grounding kit or conduit are necessary, resulting in material and labor cost savings. Its advanced, ruggedized thermoplastic material is also a cost-effective alternative to traditional metal armored fiber.


In other words, it addresses the frustrations associated with traditional metal armored and non-armored fiber in hotel technology projects. Its rigidity and small diameter mean it can be installed in small pathways so you can cost-effectively upgrade guestroom connectivity without having to cut into walls or disrupt rooms, leaving all spaces open to guests throughout your fiber upgrade.


Now’s the time to rethink your hotel’s digital infrastructure—and fiber upgrades are a good place to start. Learn more about how Belden can be your single infrastructure partner for your next hospitality project.


Related resources:

Belden Hospitality Solutions

What OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cables Can Do for Hospitality Tech

Why You Should Consider This Alternative to Traditional Metal Armored Fiber