Back in the early 1990s when I first starting working, network connectivity in the office was very basic. You picked up your fixed-line office telephone to call people, or you faxed a document and occasionally sent a telex. Although there were personal computers in offices, these were standalone and often directly attached to printers.
Nowadays, expectations for network connectivity in the workplace are very different. Almost all of us have access to high-performance, desktop PCs and/or laptops, which are networked through wired connections or unlicensed wireless spectrum via Wi-Fi. Mobile devices such as cellular phones, which access licensed spectrum via network operators, have become another reliable and compelling option when connecting indoors.
There are about two billion smartphone users globally and about 80 percent of cellular data sessions originate or terminate inside a building. But 98 percent of commercial buildings do not have dedicated systems to guarantee reliable indoor cellular coverage. Why is that?
CommScope recently commissioned a study, carried out by research firm Coleman Parkes, to find out. We surveyed the professionals who design and manage buildings—including building managers, facilities managers, real estate managers and architects—to explore their attitudes and insights about enterprise mobility.
The results show that whilst the driving force for reliable cellular connectivity in a building is clear, the reality on the ground is that stakeholders are not invested enough in dedicated indoor systems. This is especially surprising considering that survey respondents estimated that the value of a property could increase by an average of 28 percent with the implementation of a dedicated in-building wireless system.
To view the results of our study, register to download the complete report, Wireless in Buildings: What Building Professionals Think.
The commercial imperative for investing in dedicated in-building wireless systems is becoming clearer as challenges associated with system costs and technical complexity are confronted and overcome. My simple view is that cellular connectivity in the building is now as important as making available any basic utility for a building. Would you refuse to invest in water supply within your building because it was deemed too expensive or complicated to do?
The workplace of the future will have a plethora of choices for connecting, and dedicated indoor cellular systems will become the norm in buildings of all sizes.
Download the Wireless in Buildings: What Building Professionals Think to learn more about what building professionals think today. Let us know what you think about in-building wireless by leaving a comment below.