This young man’s phone doesn’t have service. WiFi Calling to the rescue!
Abdul, Bari . “WiFi Is Getting Even More Public — Don’t Make Yourself A Target.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 14 July 2014. Web. 29 July 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2014/07/14/wifi-is-getting-even-more-public-dont-make-yourself-a-target.
Since the advent of the mobile phones, consumers have been pushing for complete freedom from wires. Home phones wired in to your wall are becoming a thing of the past. Down to 20%, home phones are being replaced by mobile devices. Same fate is facing desktops with the invasion of tablets and laptops. The reason behind this sweeping sea of change is the “Cord Nevers” generation, who desire to be connected yet disconnected all at the same time.
Looking to build a life in the busy metropolitan areas of cities like New York, LA and Chicago, many renters are looking to multi-dwelling unit (MDU) communities. With growing number of amenities available at any given property, potential renters look for strong wireless signal and availability of WiFi throughout the entire property as a “must-have”.
These days, good cell service on the property is a must. Renters relying on their cellphones and WiFi for communication. But in areas with coverage problems due to signal obstruction and building materials causing signal loss, a property manager is faced with many options, some of which can range from $250,000 to $500,000 or even more. “DAS” Distributed Antennae Systems are cell towers spread throughout the property. They do their job very well, but come with a giant price tag that most properties choose not to fork out. Another alternatives are boosting the signal with antennae amplifiers that carry the signal and retransmits them throughout the property.
Property managers are seeing their potential clientele chose their competition simply due to cell coverage. The rate of loss for the “Cord Nevers” generation is about 5% per year which will lead to approximately 25% after 5 years. In some cases the churn is 10%, equaling to half of the client base.
Scutt, Jason . “Ancillary Income in the Year 2019: Prepare Now for the Generation of ‘Cord Nevers’.” Multi-Housing News. Worth Telecom Advisors, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 July 2014. http://www.multihousingnews.com/features/ancillary-income-in-the-year-2019-prepare-now-for-the-generation-of-cord-nevers/1004096792.html
Cell phone coverage is spotty in your apartment. You’ve tried various carriers. You’ve even tried different mobile phones. To make a phone call you have to walk to the window or go outside completely just to catch a few much-needed bars. “Frustrated” doesn’t even begin to describe how you feel about using your smartphone that can cost you hundreds of dollars a month for a mobile and data plan. If this is how you feel, good news are on the horizon.
What does that mean to you?
If you’re one of the millions of customers who have poor signal reception inside of your residence, your wireless router will assist your T-Mobile iPhone to connect you to your callers. You will not be charged any additional fees for using WiFi-Calling domestically.
In the past, wireless carriers resisted allowing their customers to make incoming or outgoing calls using alternative methods such as WiFi Calling. Controlling how customers made calls meant only native network can be used and charging for overage minutes brought in huge revenues. Carrier network coverage maps have gaps, but most importantly coverage suffers indoors due to reasons not limited to green building materials or positioning of the cell tower in relation to the customer’s location. These factors amounted to dissatisfied customers and high churn rate. For both carriers and customers the “status quo” meant a constant back and forth battle.
Carriers are beginning to realize that WiFi Calling can be a tremendous tool in decongesting their networks. During peak hours, customers who are in range of a hotspot they can connect to, provide mobile networks with relief by sending voice and data through WiFi. These new developments can change the way carriers do business by cutting networks expansion costs, utilizing the savings to innovate new and exciting tech and furthermore offer customers savings on monthly plans.
WiFi Calling saves the day
T-Mobile will lead the industry by offering it’s customers free WiFi Calling from iPhones with iOS 8. Phone that are connected to a WiFi network will be able to make outgoing and incoming calls making poor reception areas of homes and offices essentially disappear. No additional equipment nor monthly fees will be charged and as long as the customers are connected to WiFi, they’re free to make call anywhere in the US.
Technology is constantly evolving with the help of the Internet. Smart doorbells now allow you to answer your door from anywhere using your mobile phone and Apple will soon allow it’s iPhone users to make calls through their WiFi connection. All of this points to huge amounts of data being sent in every direction every second of the day.
People have grown so attached to their wireless devices that it borders on psychological dependence. Trends show shopping and dining patterns are affected by the availability of free WiFi. 79.5% of mobile consumers say that they chose to shop at retail locations that offer free WiFi over those that do not. So what does all of this mean to Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) residential and commercial developers?
A look at a typical american household of 2 adults and 2 kids shows just how prevalent data usage is in this day and age. With multiple computers, smart phones, tablets, printers, video game systems, WiFi connected A/V components, home automation and now even refrigerators being connected to a single data pipe coming in to a residence, speeds unavoidably will suffer. This kind of a network load will make working remote from home close to impossible for business pros.
Fast internet connection stopped being a luxury a long time ago. Residents not only expect it, they demand it. Dissatisfaction with the internet service can be a factor when deciding whether to renew the lease or to start looking for a new residence. Forward thinking developers who realize the needs of their tenants at their MDUs find a higher level of satisfaction when providing a network capable of handling modern day needs.
Bright House Networks, a regional cable provider will be the first to offer 1GB/s symmetrical Internet service to residential customers in the U.S. Google Fiber is also working to expand their offerings nationwide. How will their efforts change the ISP playing field? Will their pricing be competitive with current cable providers? One thing for certain is that the demand is there.
Julian Smith pokes fun at all of our obsession with WiFi. In this video, Julian and friends lose their WiFi signal. Will they make it? Find out!
A lot sooner than expected… at least if you have iOS 8 beta 3. At the World Wide Developers conference in June, Apple announced that WiFi calling would soon be coming to the iPhone. Apple delivered on that promise Monday – releasing WiFi calling in iOS 8 beta. This means the average user will have to wait a few months to use WiFi calling on their Apple device – but it’s on it’s way!
Immediately after the June announcement T-Mobile announced that it would support this calling feature as it currently does for Android devices. Since June the WiFi world has been abuzz with speculation as to how soon it will be before AT&T and Verizon have to succumb to the Apple juggernaut and support this feature. Historically Apple will drive the market – so it’s only a matter of time. Apple users are going to demand from the carriers that they are able to have complete functionality on their devices… or many will be switching to T-Mobile.
For the MDU world – WiFi calling is a huge deal. For an industry crippled with indoor cellular coverage issues the ability to use WiFi to make phone calls eliviates a huge burden for building owners. Building owners have been faced with two options: 1) solve the indoor cellular coverage issue with CellBoost or DAS OR 2) lose residents. WiFi calling puts into play an extreamly cost effective third option for building owners: Bulk WiFi for WiFi calling. It’s the best solution all around – building owners already need to offer their residents property-wide WiFi – now that same network can provide residents with free unlimited calling and save building owners a ton of money.
Interested in learning more about the impact WiFi calling will have on the MDU/ MTU industry? Register today for our August 13, 2014
The customer service industry serves to meet the needs of it’s clients by listening to feedback and adjusting accordingly. But only recently has the hospitality industry really began to listen to it’s clients demands for fast and reliable WiFi. Recent studies by NetGear, a wireless network equipment manufacturer, show that hotel owners turn a blind eye to traveler’s needs for hotel WiFi. Most owners think of WiFi as a cost and not a revenue stream.
Strong and consistent Wi-Fi should be seen as a revenue generator, not a cost
“Smaller hospitality and leisure venues must accept that for many people Wi-Fi is now a basic need,” says Jonathan Hallatt, NETGEAR’s Regional Director UK, Ireland & South Africa. “Wherever we are, whether it’s for work or pleasure, we immediately look for Wi-Fi access so we can stay in touch with our online world. People expect to be able to decide for themselves whether or not to connect, not to have that decision made for them. Failure to provide a reliable wireless network means customers will spend less money while they are with you, shorten their visit and never return. The financial impact of this cannot be ignored. Strong and consistent Wi-Fi should be seen as a revenue generator, not a cost”.
According to NetGear’s study, 76% of hotels believe that the quality of their locations and accommodations serve as a primary deciding factor for travelers. As much as 43% believe that customers are willing to forgo wireless access if the offered a great packaged deal. To their dismay, these hotel owners are finding how different the reality is.
More the 30% of leisure travelers have stated they will not return to a hospitality venue that doesn’t offer a reliable internet connection, double that for business travelers. For smaller hotels, the numbers spell a drastic and quite damaging scenario, especially when considering the number of guests leaving their restaurants and cafes where they can not connect to a fast and reliable WiFi signal.
AmTrak’s WiFi network has been known to be sluggish, if at all available. Riders using the WiFi service have often found slow speeds and
numerous restrictions on downloads and uses of data-intensive such as Spotify, YouTube and Netflix. AmTrak wants to improve the network in the Northeast Corridor that runs about 450 miles from Boston to Washington DC, with stops in New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, making it a very important stretch of train tracks in the most heavily populated areas on the east coast.
AmTrak will be accepting bids for proof-of-concept projects which will help the company assess the costs and the feasibility of the network redesign. AmTrak’s current network relies on a patchwork of piggyback coverage from various cellular carriers.
Welch, Chris. “Amtrak wants to build a Wi-Fi network that actually works.” The Verge. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 July 2014.
Comcast has been in the process of replacing home internet routers with a new model that will function as a wireless hotspot. Comcast wants to have the biggest public WiFi network by allowing Xfinity customers to login to Xfinity public WiFi hotspots.
The thought of sharing your wireless signal with strangers is a bit unsettling. Comcast states that they have developed a secure way of allowing people to access your internet connection with little to no security risks involved. How so you may ask? The engineers at Comcast have devised a dual-network router that has 2 antennas to broadcast a private and a public signal; your house guests and the general public has access to only the public signal.
As for strangers tapping your router for illegal activity: Comcast said you’ll be guilt-free if the FBI comes knocking. Anyone hooking up to the “Xfinity Wi-Fi” public network must sign in with their own traceable, Comcast customer credentials.
But what about threats of attacks by hackers? Comcast says that in order to login to the public network, users would have to be Comcast subscribers and use their account credentials to log in, therefor identifying themselves and leaving a digital fingerprint. The signal also is no stronger then it was before the new router models rolled out meaning that passer-bys will not be logging in to either networks.