The New Must-Have for Commercial Property Owners: In-Building Cell

Originally posted to PC Magazine by Alyson Behr,

It’s no longer about just adding value to your commercial or hospitality property; now it’s about competitive survival.

520583-the-new-must-have-for-commercial-property-owners-in-building-cellWe’ve all been there. Pick almost any multitenant building, hotel, or office tower and try to get a strong cell signal while inside it. People usually end up going to a window, where they pick up whatever remnants of their carrier’s signal make it through the glass. And good luck if the windows have been treated with low-E film since that stuff turns buildings into virtual Faraday cages. That used to be just an inconvenience. But today practically everyone not only has a smartphone but everyone relies on it for the majority of their voice communications. And those cell-hungry business mobile applications that used to be just nice-to-haves are turning into critically important, frontline business apps. That means getting solid cell reception when tenants are inside is something landlords and real estate developers are being forced to take seriously.

“It’s becoming more of a trend to ask why there isn’t service and there are several big-time real estate players that are just now waking up and realizing that this in-building wireless thing is real,” said Scott Gregory, Director of Marketing at Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) equipment vendor SOLiD, Inc. “They’re saying, ‘If we don’t get onboard, our properties will lose value,’ and that’s a major consideration.”

The trend of doing business by using all kinds of apps that require major bandwidth over smartphones has transformed everyone’s expectations as we’ve moved to an “always-on” way of life. “For many business people, a smartphone is their only means of communication so they’ll remember if they can’t make calls in your building,” added Gregory. “If you’re the owner of the property or a long-term tenant, you know this is bad for business.”

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