When it comes to In-Building wireless building owners have a lot to consider. WiFi6, CBRS, DAS – there are a lot of different technologies out there and multifamily, multitenant commercial and mixed-use building owners can have very different use cases for in-building wireless services. Where should building owners start when considering wireless services? Here are five things building owners need to know when choosing a wireless solution for their property.
1. Establish Use Case & Objectives. The first thing that a building owner should do is know what they want and what they want the network to do. This may sound obvious, but it is essential. Is the property going to be a technology show-piece, heavy on wireless IoT? Is this an affordable housing property where data connectivity is the primary aim? Will the network be used for property operations? Is voice a concern?
2. Think Future-Proofing. When establishing network objectives, building owners should consider the future. What does the network need to do today, in one year, in five years? Remember, data connectivity growth is exponential. The apps, IoT and requirements of today will not be the same next year and the year after. Your network is a big investment and should be able to support growth in data usage, device connectivity and be modular to support future technologies. This brings us to our third point:
3. Don’t Go It Alone. Do we expect building owners to be wireless visionaries who can see what technology will be doing in 3-5 years? Of course not. Building owners need a knowledgeable consulting party that understands in-building wireless needs today and five years from now. Your wireless consultant should have a clear understanding and access to all available wireless technologies. Beware of consultants that recommend only one type of wireless technology. A good wireless consultant is going to ask a lot of questions about the objectives for the network and the physical building before recommending anything.
4. Plan Early. One of the biggest mistakes a building owner can make is to consider their wireless strategy too late. A wireless consultant should be involved in the building planning process during the design phase to ensure that the necessary cabling is in place to support the network objectives. In addition, building materials added during construction can affect things like voice coverage and 2-way radio coverage for first responders. Finally, proper, early planning ensures that no costly adjustments need to be made after construction is complete to support wireless services.
5. Your Property May Require Multiple Solutions. Again, each use case is different. This point comes back to having a knowledgeable consulting party involved who understands wireless and has access to all available wireless technologies. Today’s wireless technologies are not just competing, more and more they are being built to work together to provide seamless connectivity, roaming and handoff. Your consultant should recommend the network deployment that fits your use case, objectives and budget and should not be tied to any one technology.
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