In 2020, the average person consumed 90% of their data— indoors.
While holiday travel typically changes those numbers, it’s less likely that building tenants will be traveling this winter as the pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives.
Holiday traditions won’t stop - instead, their nature will change. Special moments will follow the digital trend that has been established over the past year: people will want to share meals and celebrations over video chat, call to check in with family members, and ring in the New Year virtually with a group of friends. Plus, they’ll need to continue to finish all the other work they need to do online, like last-minute meetings and end-of-semester school presentations.
For building owners, it’s important to expect a spike in connectivity demands this time of year. It’s also important to recognize that a majority of people feel it is the landlord or owner’s responsibility to ensure good connectivity at home--similar to other utilities like heat, water and electricity. Great connectivity truly improves your tenants’ quality of life.
With this in mind, it’s essential to think about the following three inhibitors to connectivity and why they matter. It’s a chance to make sure your tenants are in good spirits this holiday season, while thinking about how 2021 could be the year for better connections, everywhere.
Blocked Antenna Signals
So you’ve got hardware, but is it placed in the right area? Oftentimes, owners will set up their antenna placement once and not think about effectiveness or coverage optimization after that.
Unfortunately, antennas can be blocked by building walls and other obstructions, which can have a negative impact on tenants who live in a dead zone with limited connectivity.
With no other COVID-safe location to go, tenants can be literally trapped in these under-served zones. This is unfortunate and, by many tenant standards, unacceptable, especially as they hope to connect with loved ones this season.
High User Density
US cellular data usage is increasing by the minute. It’s predicted that by 2023, US cellular data usage will be 30 GB / User / Month vs. only 10 GB today. That’s 3 times more over the next 3 years.
In denser buildings and even smaller buildings that just don’t have a good bandwidth/user ratio, high user density slows data flows. This makes it impossible for people to video chat over the holidays while catching up on work emails and virtual school homework. Said plainly, your building's connectivity solution may simply not be able to support the essential services and activities that people need.
If left unsolved, this easily-addressed issue may lead to a string of broken leases, heaps of unhappy emails, and blows to your reputation over time.
Poor WiFi Area Coverage
It’s possible that you’ve already thought about the best connectivity solutions for WiFi. But did you know that installing WiFi alone is not the best solution to optimal connectivity?
Buildings that only use WiFi often experience patchiness. Wi-Fi networks aren’t as reliable. This can force tenants to come up with their own temporary solutions, like needing to invest in expensive extenders or mobile hotspots. Buying extra personal equipment is simply a band-aid that doesn’t have an impact on the root problem. In a season that faces an increased number of video chats, final school projects, and data-rich texts, it’s unlikely that everyone will get the service they need.
A Resolution That Impacts Years to Come
Owners need complementary indoor systems to enable the best connectivity for tenants. The key is to invest in a solution that meets the needs of today and anticipates the use cases beyond this winter’s spike in demand. After all, between 20 and 40% of the US workforce is now working from home— video conferencing alone will grow 3x in the next 5 years. For home-bound workers, fast, reliable broadband is essential.
To address this problem, telecom engineers have developed an internal and dedicated signal distribution system that connects back to a wireless carrier’s network. This cellular infrastructure is called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).
DAS is a telecom infrastructure solution that connects the networks of the mobile operators to users in a building. Through a system of small antennas installed throughout the property, the solution emits a quality signal that all users can enjoy.
DAS is not a system that “repeats,” “enhances” or “boosts” signals captured externally. Quite the opposite! A true DAS is a standalone system that offers a dedicated service. It is dimensioned to guarantee the best mobile connectivity experience for the site by accounting for characteristics unique to each enterprise, such as the architectural characteristics, flow of people and user profiles.
DAS is a journey worth starting now with the right understanding of tenants’ pain points. It’s important to think through these three main challenges to connectivity, so that you can better understand where a switch to a long-term DAS solution could truly impact your tenants and business in the new year.
Explore The Year Ahead with DAS from QMC
DAS is an investment that will continue to bring joy throughout 2021 with the right partnership. QMC has emerged in this environment as a multinational wireless infrastructure company with an asset base of 2,500+ projects installed and under development.
We have demonstrated our expertise through turn-key solutions for various segments of the market. Unlike other neutral host providers, which are typically speculative in nature, we empower the enterprise to take control of their own destiny with guaranteed 5G-ready mobile connectivity after the system is installed.