Once seen as an added customer benefit, reliable connectivity without restriction – all the time, at full speed, on any device, from anywhere – has become the expectation in our connected world. In many areas, including healthcare and higher education, customer experience and customer satisfaction have become a primary business objective. This expectation is why business professionals now consider their telecommunications infrastructure a “fourth utility” that is just as crucial to their employees and clients as electricity, water, and HVAC.
The mindset of telecommunications infrastructure as a utility marks a definitive change in the way business owners and developers have traditionally approached their networks. Over the years, the need for additional bandwidth has been addressed reactively, as technology and associated demands evolve. This often has been accomplished by the creation of multiple parallel networks, and these copper-based networks can require more duct and closet space than a building can support. Not to mention how disruptive it is to customers – and owners! – to perpetually catch up to greater bandwidth demand by reactively adding new cables and equipment.
In industries such as commercial real estate, network owners have realized that if they stick with the catch-up approach, they may never be done with the endless upgrade cycle. An ABI Research report indicates that more than 80 percent of the world’s mobile traffic happens indoors. That kind of mobile usage alone, as consumers access Wi-Fi, cellular, and VoIP networks, already stresses existing communications networks inside commercial properties. And as property managers add evolving demands from their security, automation, and other building operations, it’s clear that demand for bandwidth will only increase.