Smart home technology is slowly making its way into becoming a mainstay for home owners. From Ring to Nest and Philips Hue to Nokia Body, consumers are adapting as they see the many ways technology can simplify and add peace of mind to their lives. As consumers, they can afford to take their time bringing their homes into the 2010s and 2020s.
Commercial property owners cannot. Remember when computers were founded in businesses, but not many homes? Or when only the top people in the company had cell phones. Both technologies proliferated to others in the workplace, then homes and now into the hands of nearly every American adult and teen. As tenants are becoming more accustomed to living with smart technology, they’re expecting to find it in their workplaces, hotels, retail experiences, everywhere. When they can’t find it, they leave to find a place where they can get wi-fi.
That’s why commercial property owners can’t afford a slow build-up. They need to be wired for business today.
That begins with the most basic yet critical step that many owners still have not taken. You need in-building cell coverage. Even in buildings right in the range of a cell tower can have dead spaces. That prevents workers from taking their computers to meeting rooms, reducing productivity. And it can lead your guests to your competitor’s place across the street simply because they can find wi-fi there. Worse, what if there’s an emergency in your building and no one can call for help?
It’s easy to blame the cell companies when you can’t get a good signal, but that won’t solve your problem. You need mobile connectivity—any way you can (legally) get it.
You may be tempted to simply acquire a cell booster, but like other technology, it can quit without warning, leaving you without a solution and with angry tenants. Depending on the size of your building, you may be better off outsourcing to an in-building wireless network with solid coverage and huge capacity to accommodate the demand.
For larger facilities, DAS can be a good solution. DAS stands for distributed antenna system. It essentially captures carriers’ signals and redistributes them within the building through radios and antenna.
Another option for high-density structures is called small cell. The Small Cell Forum describes it as “low-powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in a licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade wi-fi.” They add that small cells typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters.
If you’re looking to get your business wired, ask your commercial Realtor for recommendations and check with other commercial property owners to see how they’re providing in-building mobile access.
Modern buildings are connected, flexible and provide the instantaneous phone and online access today’s consumers expect, workers require and you need in order to remain competitive.