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August 09

Bringing Elevators to the Penthouse of Connectivity

While advancements in cellular network offerings continue to flourish, the standards for in-building connectivity, which tenants and guests have come to expect, have increasingly put building operators on notice. The growing use of IoT enabled devices in everyday life has introduced a new era of wireless, which means management companies must look beyond traditional solutions to support the future – a future in which “I’m getting in the elevator, I might lose you,” becomes nothing more than a remark made on old television shows.

In order to facilitate a wireless network in an elevator shaft, buildings deploy antennas in a variety of arrangements, but not all positioning can provide consistent connectivity to the end user. Utilizing multiple antennas across a singular shaft can lead to inconsistent connection quality or even loss of service due to the need to constantly pass the signal from one antenna to another as you ascend or descend within the building. Tenants within an office building and guests within a hotel may have different uses for their cellular service, but the expectation of service for both groups remains.

The importance of mobility in the workplace has changed the way commercial real estate approaches office space planning and development. Design aspects must adhere to the potential tenant demand for flexible workspaces and collaboration hubs that facilitate increased productivity of their workforce. As a company expands, so does its need for more space. And in today’s high-rise office climate, the only way to go is up. Employees traveling from one floor to another require constant, reliable cellular connectivity so that they may utilize the multi-level spaces available to them. From a building owner perspective, providing wireless infrastructure within elevator shafts can not only increase tenant satisfaction, but it can also lead to tenant expansion within the building, as opposed to looking elsewhere.

Hotels are no exception to this standard, as guests rely on a level of connectivity to support their cellular needs. Regardless of whether their stay is for business or recreation, the need for wireless network access within an elevator remains the same. Business travelers must have the ability to continue calls from the time they leave the room until they reach the airport terminal, including the elevator trip down to the lobby. Despite the different purpose for their stay, vacationers utilize their phones for things such as communicating with the shuttle company or ride service taking them to the amusement park or live show. Since the clock isn’t always watched when on vacation, being able to answer the phone while on the elevator can make or break getting to the destination on time.

Although hotels and office buildings employ different applications, the two types of buildings share an important consideration – public safety. A reliable wireless solution will support all frequencies, including those utilized by emergency services. First responders will be able to utilize public safety networks to communicate with one another, as well as push notifications to individuals within impacted areas in the event of a crisis.

Zinwave’s distributed antenna system (DAS) solution covers the full spectrum of common cellular and public safety radio frequencies. By bringing network signals into the building via a central hub, a Zinwave DAS is able to distribute reliable connectivity throughout the building.

Elevators need a coverage solution that addresses these demands, and deploying a DAS remote unit on each individual car is the optimal solution. Network access is enabled to move about the shaft with the car, allowing for consistent, reliable coverage regardless of the number of floors being traveled.

As new frequencies are introduced to the system, upgrading access points on a non-full spectrum solution can become complicated and costly as hardware must be replaced with updated models. Zinwave understands the future waits for no one, which is why their full-spectrum DAS is ready with simple software updates to support the latest configurations. By using a future-ready solution, remote units don’t need to be physically accessed to expand the system, providing a lower total cost of ownership to the end user.

Building operators can even further alleviate concerns of high upfront costs when it comes to indoor connectivity by utilizing Zinwave’s Cellular-as-a-Service (CaaS) model. CaaS makes the investment in the DAS a monthly charge based on square footage, thus shifting the cost to an operational expense that businesses can work into their monthly budgets, rather than an up-front capital outlay.

Whether for tenants, guests, or building owners, the advantages of elevator connectivity are clear. The right wireless infrastructure can differentiate an office or hotel from the competition and provide a solution to keep people safe and satisfied.

Demand for cellular connectivity within elevators will continue to rise in the years to come, so why not deploy a DAS solution that will take your building to the top floor of wireless standards? Zinwave is ready to connect you with the future so your building won’t be stuck in the past.


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