FAQs - Wireless

Frequently asked questions about the wireless aspects of Minibarmaster Premium and Minibarmaster Essential

How does it work?
The handheld sends postings to the Minibarmaster computer over a wireless link. The Minibarmaster computer subsequently sends postings to the guest account in Opera for the Premium system. If you are using the Essential system, the postings go to front office instead. The entire process is virtually instant from the time the minibar associate records a sale on the handheld, to the time it reaches the guest's room account or front office (depending which systen you are using).

What happens if my hotel does not have a wireless network?
It doesn't matter. Minibarmaster systems do not need and don't use the hotel's wireless network (commonly called wireless LAN or Wi-Fi) ie it's totally independent of the hotel's wireless infrastructure. Instead it uses the GPRS service of a GSM mobile phone network as the wireless link, and this can be with Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. The handhelds used for Minibarmaster Wireless, have an integrated GSM/GPRS capability. This alleviates the need for a hotel to have an in house wireless network.

What is GPRS?
Every mobile phone carrier offers GPRS communications through their GSM network. This includes Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. GPRS is commonly used to send pictures, videos or data from a mobile phone to a computer with an email address over the Internet.

Minibarmaster systems use this function to send minibar sales from a GPRS capable handheld to the Minibarmaster computer through the Internet, which subsequently posts them to Fidelio or Opera (Premium system) or front office (Essential system).

Does the handheld require a SIM card?
Yes it does. The SIM card is enabled for GPRS, and disabled for voice calls. By restricting it to GPRS data and no outgoing voice, the monthly operating cost is $10 per month per handheld.

Can I use the handheld to make and receive calls?
When we install a system, we enable incoming voice calls. If you wish to have outgoing calls also enabled, it can be done at no cost. Be aware however unauthorised calls could be made at te hotel's expense.

Can I post from anywhere on the property?
You can post from anywhere in the hotel where you have mobile phone coverage with your chosen mobile phone carrier, usually everywhere in the hotel.

What happens if I lose coverage with my service provider's mobile network?
When the handheld loses service with the mobile phone network, it holds the sales data and will send them out it when it regains service with the network. No sales will be lost.

How does the charge appear on the guest account?
Charges appear as totals, and are shown as minibar in the guest folio. They also contain a description for each item consumed in the room along with the quantity consumed.

If I'm upgrading from Minibarmaster Non-Wireless to Minibarmaster Premium or Essential , do I need to purchase new hardware or software?
You will require new handhelds with GPRS capability, and this is included in the upgrade cost. Your existing Minibarmaster computer will still be required and will continue to be used. No other hardware will be required. Your software will also need to be upgraded and this will be included in the upgrade cost.

Does Minibarmaster Premium need a Smart Interface?
Yes it does, otherwise the charges will not be posted to the guest account. This is a core component of the system.

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