Part 1: Three ways to grow multi-operator in-building services

The demand for in-building services continues to grow as users rely on cellular services for everyday operations. Stuart Holyoak blogs on how the mobile industry has evolved and key requirements for the growth of multi-operator in-building cellular services.

blog_resize_imageMore than 20 years in the mobile industry have taught me that all-inclusive price plans and the latest uber-cool handsets mean nothing to subscribers without the simple five-bar service to back them up. As a field engineer for what was then One2One in the United Kingdom (UK), I felt the ultimate sense of achievement whenever I delivered coverage where there had previously been none. Driving to a site with zero bars, installing, testing and then driving away in glorious (2G) five bar coverage felt good!

CLICK TO TWEET: In Part 1 of this blog series, CommScope's Stuart Holyoak explains 3 ways to grow multi-operator in-building services.

In those days, hanging out of a window to gain service was still acceptable. Expectations have moved on. As motorway coverage holes were fixed and high capacity venues gained service, the focus moved on to in-building service where most of our calls and now data sessions occur. However, subscribers still struggle in-building. Factors that have thwarted the proliferation of in-build cellular services include higher frequency bands, cost challenges and the new generation of radio frequency resistant ‘green’ buildings.

These challenges notwithstanding, the demand for in-building services continues to grow. Flexible working practices have led to a focus on cellular services for everyday operations. An increase in BYOD policies ultimately means a greater reliance on high quality, multi-operator cellular services. With this reliance comes a growing acceptance that just as end customers pay for other utility services they would also be willing to fund in-building services, provided they are multi-operator and are backed up with service guarantees.

The delivery of multi-operator, venue-funded in-building cellular services are dependent on three elements; 1) wider mobile network operator acceptance of the challenge and the resolve to look at new solutions and operational models; 2) technical solutions that have common acceptance across all operators and 3) the expertise required to deploy and manage such a service.

In my next post, I plan to elaborate on these. I’ll also be participating in a panel on Neutral hosting for multi-operator mobile connectivity at the upcoming Small Cells World Summit on Tuesday 21 May in London. I look forward to discussing this topic with other members of the ecosystem.

Please check out this video for a sneak peek on what we’ll be discussing during this important industry event.