Study examines dedicated indoor mobile systems

A study commissioned by telecom company CommScope and carried out by Coleman Parkes Research discovered that this dedicated technology can increase a property’s value by 28 percent.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | April 8, 2016

In addition to groups of smokers huddled outside of buildings braving the winter chill, there’s almost always a group of smartphone users right next to them doing the same thing to get a few moments of uninterrupted service.

Globally, it’s estimated that there are 2 billion smartphone users, and 80 percent of the mobile traffic generated by those users either originates or terminates in a building. That’s a huge number, so it may be surprising to learn that just 2 percent of commercial buildings have dedicated indoor mobile systems. Not only would such a system help reduce the number of building occupants doing the I-don’t-have-service dance, but a study commissioned by telecom company CommScope and carried out by Coleman Parkes Research discovered that this dedicated technology can increase a property’s value by 28 percent. That means a $2.5 million office building could be worth an additional $700,000.

Respondents to the study also cited benefits to the enterprise tenants, including an increase in workforce productivity, supporting the recruitment of more talented individuals, and attracting more visitors to the property.

With benefits for everyone, implementing these dedicated systems seems like a no-brainer. Why is the use of this technology currently so limited?

For starters, no one is quite sure who should be responsible for installing the technology. Some 26 percent of survey respondents pointed the finger at IT managers, 35 percent at network operators, and 22 percent looked to building managers.

Additionally, the cost of the network, the complexity of the technology, and the lack of skilled workers to manage it were, respectively, cited by 35 percent, 19 percent, and 11 percent of respondents as roadblocks to implementation. But, with smartphone use now an integral part of the workday, there may be greater effort to overcome those obstacles, as quality service increasingly becomes a necessity rather than an optional perk.

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