Connected Real Estate Magazine - Vol 1 Issue 2 - 11
"That was the start of the big transition from carriers deploying the networks to the building owners deploying their
own networks because the value of connectivity really accrues
to them," continued Chapman. "Without five bars of signal, it
is harder to rent your building. Without adequate coverage or
capacity, it is harder to get or retain a client."
systems deployed in large, highly dense areas such as stadiums,
arenas, casinos and hotels," said Grant. "But connectivity is
getting pushed into smaller and smaller buildings."
With that shift comes a change in responsibility for
deploying networks from carriers to building owners and
"For the carriers, the deployment cost outweighed any
additional revenues they were going to get for in-building
traffic," said Chapman. "This network is fractal as it reaches
out further and further into buildings and becomes increasingly expensive to deploy everywhere. Given that 80 percent
of traffic comes from within buildings, it becomes necessary to
put that infrastructure inside buildings. However, the carriers
cannot justify the return on investment to do that for every
building, so they largely stopped deploying all but the largest
stadiums, buildings and malls.
But building owners aren't armed with the same knowledge
that third-party operators, carriers and OEMs have about
deploying RF networks. Often building owners turn to their
contractors in the IT, mechanical or electrical areas to try to
solve in-building wireless needs.
Cost is a primary reason that a large number of buildings
still lack a dedicated in-building cellular network, according
to a recent study commissioned by CommScope. Thirty-five
percent of respondents to the survey pointed to cost as a primary barrier. Other factors include technology complexity (19
percent), lack of network operator capability (11 percent), lack
of skilled resources (11 percent), no ownership in the company to update the building (9 percent), lack of client demand (9
percent) and no need (4 percent).
Chapman said while cost is a prominent barrier, factors
related to technology complexity and lack of expertise actually
combine to form the largest barrier to deployment.
A recent report commissioned by CommScope found that
cost is a primary reason that a large number of buildings still
lack a dedicated in-building cellular network, with 35% of
"The usual generalized approach used for data infrastructure
deployment simply doesn't work for wireless," said Chapman.
"RF design needs to come first not last."
"Buildings owners need an 'RF expert' working hand-inhand with the general contractor and even architects to guide
the downstream efforts," Chapman continued. "I don't think
anybody is resistant to that. They just don't have the experience or connections and as a result their current ecosystem
becomes the path of least resistance."
When in-building networks aren't properly designed, the
results are often an overscaled network that incorporates too
much equipment in the wrong places at a greater-than-necessary cost, or an underscaled network that will initially work
but eventually won't keep up with demand and often doesn't
take into account the external network, said Chapman. MobileNet's message to building owners is that the cost to fix
an improperly deployed in-building network once it's already
done can be significant.