WIRELESS is becoming just as indispensable for day-to-day operations in the 21st century as electricity and plumbing were in the 20th.
The rapid uptake of wireless devices in every strata of society has made "universal coverage" – comprehensive coverage everywhere, all the time – a necessity. As the demand for wireless capacity increases, effective in-building wireless systems for public spaces will become absolutely critical.
However, the priorities for developers of office buildings, stadia, hospitals, hotels, shopping centres and other commercial structures are clearly aesthetics, efficiency and comfort. Ironically, these same features are often the enemy of wireless technology, resulting in poor coverage.
Unfortunately, operators who provide limited coverage inside such public spaces face not only reduced revenues, but also unhappy subscribers who will be more likely to turn to other networks that are supporting ubiquitous indoor connectivity. Subscribers expect their wireless devices to work perfectly no matter where they are or what services they are attempting to access. From making a simple voice call to downloading a movie, subscribers expect a flawless service.
Supporting wireless coverage for public venues can also substantially increase operator revenues. According to research from Deloitte, around 70 per cent of mobile calls currently originate from inside buildings, so there is huge potential market to be captured by supporting mobile connections inside structures that interfere with traditional wireless coverage.
Meeting the data demands of a large number of spectators in a relatively small area will always require a high level of planning, both from network operators and the owners of the venue involved. Additionally, the level of network capacity required has increased substantially over recent years, from basic voice services through to the rapid growth in data consumption brought on by increased smartphone usage. This is set to increase again, once HD video support becomes common on smartphones.
In many cases, operators and venue-owners can be the greatest obstacles to deploying public in-building solutions. Many still need to be convinced that there is a legitimate business case for deploying such infrastructure. This is an understandable concern, given that, for example, it can cost £1-2 million (
The business case
The potential revenues significantly outweigh the initial
Stadia present a slightly different challenge, since they see intense hotspots of use, followed by stretches of inactivity. For this reason, some operators are adopting cell on wheels (COW) solutions where they install temporary wireless coverage for specific events, rather than deploying permanent wireless support. While this approach is popular in the
Most Popular Stories
- 'Beyonce' Tops the U.S. Album Chart
- Archer Daniels Midland Moving HQ to Chicago
- Singer Ian Watkins Sentenced to 35 Years Prison for Child Sex Abuse
- Universal CityWalk Rings in 2014 with Southern California's Biggest New Year's Eve Party, Featuring Dazzling Fireworks Displays, Three Live Concert Stages, DJ Performances and a Midnight Cascade of 1,000 Pounds of Confetti
- The Illuminati Don't Exist, Just Ask Them
- SAC Capital Employee Guilty of Insider Trading
- Contest Gives Startups a Jump in Jersey
- Brothel Write-offs Cost Taxpayers Millions, Coburn Says
- Fed Signals Strong Confidence in U.S. Economy
- GLAAD Denounces 'Duck Dynasty' Star for Remarks About Gays