Wireless Broadband Being Called The “Fourth Utility” – Multifamily Building Owners Are Questioning Need For Competitive Broadband Services

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Multifamily broadband round-tables are questioning the concept of competitive broadband services in MDUs. With wireless broadband being viewed as the “fourth” utility, why is it still being treated differently than other utilities with no competitive requirements like gas, water or electricity? Building owners are beginning to question the need to agree to competitive marketing agreements with cable and telco companies and are considering bulk services as the best way to get residents the broad services they desire. With the proliferation and resident demand for Wi-Fi the shift in thinking is apropos as individual Wi-Fi solutions in multifamily builds creates channelization and quality of service issues.

Property-Wide Seamless Connectivity Is Key – Wireless Broadband Provides That Service

Connectivity in the unit is simply not enough – amenity area, corridors, garages and units all need to be seamless connected. Providing the ability for a resident to remain connected, for both data and voice, phone-in-hand throughout the property will be the bar for renter attractiveness. Doug Lodder of Boingo Wireless correctly stated in a recent Development Magazine article that, “Real estate owners, REITS and property managers will rise or fall based on their ability to deliver first class wireless coverage to buyers and tenants”. 

If wireless is not seamless throughout the property, it will not suffice as an “in-building” wireless solution. It has long been known in networking that too many routers will cause connectivity and quality of service problems for the end-user. This has become extremely evident in the multifamily space where building owners who are not offering seamless wireless connectivity throughout their property rely on tenants to use individual consumer routers in-unit. Due to channelization issues and interference, individual routers in every apartment simply cannot be the solution to quality streaming data services or VoWiFi services. Service must be seamless and managed to ensure quality of service for the end user. 

WiFi Calling Requires Quality of Service and Furthers The Case For Bulk

WiFi calling has become a major player when it comes to solving the in-building voice problem. Less expensive than DAS, WiFi can provide seamless voice connectivity property-wide while at the same time providing data and streaming services and acting as a backbone for IoT – either on a subscription bases or as a bulk service. For WiFi Calling to be recognized as a true voice solution, it needs to be managed with Quality of Service (QOS). While buffering with video streaming is frustrating and tolerated less than ever, there is no buffering with voice. A lag in connectivity equals a dropped call so it is imperative that voice service be separated using voice packet prioritization to ensure call quality.

Building Owners Need To Understand “Managed WiFi”

When thinking of broadband and Wi-Fi in terms of a “fourth utility”, network management is a MUST.  Managed Wi-Fi indicates an intelligent approach to networking that is designed and scaled to the needs of a property, monitored and maintained from a Network Operations Center (NOC) 24/7 and supported. Especially when incorporating voice and IoT elements, monitoring becomes an essential component to ensuring up-time and QOS for both data and voice. Managed Wi-Fi networks should also be carrier-grade, up to network standardization for today (and tomorrow's) usage and offer security at all networking points (not just password protection and encryption).

To learn more about Managed Carrier-Grade WiFi: marketing@spotonnetworks.com or 203-523-5210.