With over 10 billion devices wirelessly connected in the market today, it’s crucial for building owners to keep up with growing trends and demands for connectivity. Keep in mind that connecting via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G is no longer something people are just doing on the move—over 70 percent of mobile usage is happening indoors. Plus, using a cellular phone does not just mean making a few calls or sending text messages—devices keep pushing the limit on voice and data usage, including allowing constant connectivity for streaming videos and music, sending emails and photos, and other specialized (usage-heavy) apps.
Because employees, guests, and customers bring their own devices with them almost everywhere they go (whether a smartphone, tablet, or laptop), they not only need but come to expect strong, reliable wireless signal. This changing expectation provides pressure on commercial developers but also allows for equal opportunity to stay ahead of the trends and continue providing a seamless transition from outdoors to in.
Below, we’ve outlined strategies that building owners or commercial real estate developers can take to improve in-building connectivity.
Viewing Wireless Connectivity as a Fourth Utility
Business developers or current building managers have increased pressure to make their wireless connectivity (both cellular signal and Wi-Fi) reliable for their employees and customers throughout their entire buildings. Even more than just phones and computers require connectivity these days—from printers to security systems and thermostats to the never-ending release of new “smart” devices.
Understanding that users want full-strength, full-speed dependable wireless communication, one initial strategy for managers is simply a mental shift to viewing wireless connectivity as a fourth utility—in addition to gas, water, and electric. Employees and customers now expect strong signal in an office just as much as they’d expect working sinks and electricity.
With that viewpoint, it will be installed and implemented with the intent to last a life time, rather than causing building owners the headache of upgrading to meet with increasing demands.
Switching from Copper Cabling to Fiber Infrastructure
Fiber cabling, in lieu of copper cabling, has become a growing trend for real estate developers. Fiber allows for cleaner, simpler cabling solutions and provides the capacity for unlimited bandwidth.
Fiber networks (compared to copper):
- Cost less to install and maintain
- Suffer less downtime
- Require less networking hardware
- Are one-tenth the size and weight of copper
- Are more readily available than copper (minimizing installation time)
Choosing fiber cabling solutions from the start of construction also reduces cost over time from minimizing necessary and sometimes continuous upgrades of copper systems. Learn more about fiber vs. copper cable structuring »
Infrastructure to Improve In-Building Wireless
While increased use and reliance can put a strain on in-building networks (both Wi-Fi and cellular data), there are other causes that can reduce effectiveness of in-building connectivity. Causes of poor wireless signal throughout your building can include:
- The number of employees – each employee likely has more than one device connecting online (sometimes even more than five) when you include work and personal cellular phones, desk phones with VoIP, laptops and desktop computers, printers and other office equipment, and even other smart devices like fitness trackers, smart watches, and tablets.
- Building layout – most buildings include interior spaces that are blocked by thick walls or even mazes of hallways to get from an exterior wall to that particular conference room or office.
- Building interference – this includes certain metals, wire mesh, piping, insulation materials, surrounding trees and plans, parking garages, and more.
Using a Single Integrator for All Your Low Voltage Needs
To complete your in-building networking project (whether an upgrade to existing facility or implementation for a new construction development), it’s best to work with one full-service company rather than different contractors or vendors for each need. Instead of hiring multiple companies to handle your low voltage, structured cabling, and in-building wireless solutions, you can reduce time and cost by choosing a turn-key solutions provider.
Full-Service Integrated Low Voltage Solutions
Corporate Technology Solutions is a low voltage company providing turnkey solutions for our customers throughout the Southwest. Growing from a top tier cabling installer, we now specialize in the design and installation of many systems based on our history of voice, data, video, and fiber optic cabling systems.
Integrated solutions we provide include:
- DAS (Distributed Antenna Systems)
- WI-FI systems
- GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Networks)
- Fire alarm systems
- Security systems for business
- Access control system solutions
- Video surveillance (CCTV)
- Emergency communication systems
- Business intercom solutions
- Paging systems
Ready to get started? Give us a call today to talk about the solutions we can provide for you and your company located in the Southwest.