In today’s constantly connected world, residents of multifamily apartments expect their cell phones to work where they live. If one, or all, of the cellular carriers don’t have service at your property, that resident is going to associate that poor connectivity experience with the place they rent. Wi-Fi calling emerges not just as a convenience but as a critical lifeline for residents in multi-dwelling units (MDUs). 

Wi-Fi calling represents a pivotal shift in the way we stay connected, especially within the multifaceted environments of multi-dwelling units (MDUs). The recent AT&T outage, which saw countless cell phones across the country lose service for hours, starkly highlighted the fragility of relying solely on traditional cellular networks. This incident brings to light the invaluable asset that Wi-Fi calling can be, particularly for residents in MDUs where consistent and reliable communication is not just expected but essential.  

What is Wi-Fi Calling? 

Wi-Fi calling is a technology that allows smartphone users to make and receive calls over a Wi-Fi network, using their phone number, without the need for a cellular connection. This seamless process involves the call being routed through the internet instead of traditional cellular networks, ensuring connectivity even when cellular service is spotty or unavailable. 

Traditional Cellular Connectivity vs. Wi-Fi Calling 

The primary difference between traditional cellular connectivity and Wi-Fi calling lies in their reliance on different networks. While traditional calls depend on the proximity and availability of cellular towers, Wi-Fi calling utilizes broadband internet connections. This means that in areas where cellular coverage is weak or non-existent, such as inside modern buildings with materials that impede cellular signals, Wi-Fi calling can provide a stable alternative. 

5G and In-Building Coverage Issues 

The advent of 5G technology promised unprecedented speeds and connectivity. However, the higher frequency bands used by 5G networks, while capable of delivering faster data speeds, have a shorter range and struggle to penetrate modern building materials. This results in significant in-building coverage issues, particularly in newer MDUs designed with energy efficiency in mind, which often use materials that further block or degrade these signals. 

The Critical Role of Cell Phones in MDUs 

With the rise of remote work, the ability to make and receive calls reliably from home has never been more crucial. Imagine a scenario where a resident, working from their apartment in a modern MDU, finds themselves unable to connect to a crucial work conference call due to poor cellular reception. This not only disrupts their productivity but can also have broader implications for their professional reputation and workflow. 

The Solution: Managed Wi-Fi for Seamless Connectivity 

Managed Wi-Fi systems, when designed and implemented correctly, can offer a comprehensive solution to these challenges. These systems ensure property-wide high-quality Wi-Fi coverage, enabling residents to utilize Wi-Fi calling seamlessly throughout the MDU. Unlike traditional Wi-Fi setups, a managed Wi-Fi system is optimized for both coverage and capacity, ensuring that every call is clear and uninterrupted, regardless of the resident’s location within the building. 

The need for reliable, continuous connectivity in MDUs is more pronounced than ever, especially in the context of increasing remote work trends. Wi-Fi calling, supported by a robust managed Wi-Fi infrastructure, presents a reliable solution to the limitations posed by traditional cellular networks and the coverage challenges of emerging 5G technology. By adopting managed Wi-Fi solutions, MDU owners and developers not only enhance their residents’ connectivity experience but also add significant value to their properties, ensuring that residents never miss a call, whether it’s for work, emergencies, or keeping in touch with loved ones.