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The construction materials and location of your building may be affecting the quality of your indoor cellular coverage. This resource helps building stakeholders understand the most common factors that degrade performance and evaluate their own need for a wireless connectivity solution.

In today’s digitally driven world, mobile devices have become integral to every aspect of personal and professional life. With people using vast amounts of mobile data—and the current rollout of 5G networks—the demand for robust and reliable cellular reception is greater than ever.  
Unfortunately, in-building wireless connectivity isn’t always so easy to achieve. You’re probably familiar with those carrier coverage maps that show much of the country color-coded with availability. If you could zoom in on those coverage maps, you’d find isolated locations where coverage is poor and unreliable—and it’s even worse on the edges of those coverage areas.

Factors Impeding In-Building Cellular Service 

Commercial buildings, industrial facilities, and public spaces often grapple with a variety of in-building wireless connectivity issues, including:

  • Weak signal strength: This is one of the most common problems, often the result of building materials and geographical factors impeding signal penetration. 
  • Network congestion: In densely populated areas like urban centers or public venues during events, network congestion can overwhelm cellular networks, causing service degradation for users. 
  • Dead zones: Cellular signals may simply not be available in certain areas within a building or facility—especially in larger structures.  
  • Interference: Interference from electronic equipment, building structures, or other wireless devices can disrupt cellular connectivity, especially 5G signals. 

Problems like these are often particularly acute in today’s smart buildings. It’s ironic that while smart building infrastructure is beneficial from a sustainability standpoint, smart building materials like energy-efficient glass and thermal installation often hamper the cellular connectivity that enables smart technology. This is a key consideration for property owners and building managers since properties regarded as mobile dead zones will not only have reduced productivity but will also have diminished value and attractiveness to tenants. 

How to Identify Connectivity Issues 

Recognizing you have a connectivity problem is the first step toward finding a solution to improve cell signal in building. Here are some common indications that your connectivity might be lacking.

  • Frequent dropped calls: If you or your employees experience frequent dropped calls, especially in specific areas of your building, it’s a clear sign of signal issues. 
  • Slow data speeds: Slow internet speeds on mobile devices (despite having a data plan with adequate bandwidth) is a key indicator of poor signal strength. 
  • Inconsistent service: If you notice your cellular service varies significantly within your building or at various times of the day, this may be a sign of connectivity problems. 
  • Complaints from users: Listen to feedback from employees, customers, or visitors. Complaints about poor cellular service can point to underlying issues. 

If you are seeing a pattern of connectivity issues in your building, it’s essential to assess your need for in-building cellular infrastructure. A certified Wilson partner can conduct a site survey that measures the quality of the cell signal available at your location and can estimate the amount of amplification that such infrastructure can provide.  

A Business Imperative 

Virtually every type of commercial real estate has come to rely on mobile connectivity. But with more companies adopting hybrid and remote working arrangements, the need for seamless mobile connectivity has become essential. This is especially true considering the associated dependency on cloud computing. 

Businesses are also increasingly opting for mobile phones over landlines or relying on video conferencing to keep information and collaboration flowing between locations. Considering these trends, a growing number of firms are moving into shared office environments where high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity are included in the lease.  

Regardless of a business’ remote work policy, reliable mobile coverage has become a key consideration for business owners weighing their property leasing options. Any commercial facility that does not meet “always on” connectivity expectations will struggle to attract tenants.  

In industrial real estate, mobile connectivity eases a variety of operations from manufacturing to logistics:

  • Industry 4.0 (industrial IoT) 
  • Order management (Realtime Fulfillment; Inventory Optimization) 
  • Supply Chain Visibility 
  • Robotic Warehousing 
  • Rural Manufacturing 
  • Equipment Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance 
  • Remote Troubleshooting 

In commercial or multi-tenant real estate environments, mobile connectivity enables a variety of functions to improve services, conserve energy and save money: 

  • Smart Buildings 
  • Tenant Services (Virtual Concierge; Wayfinding; Hospitality) 
  • Parking Lot Sensors and Electric Vehicle Chargers 
  • Coworking Spaces and Room Scheduling 
  • HVAC/Lighting Efficiency 
  • Workplace Optimization 
  • Safety (Predictive AI & Video Monitoring) 

In government properties, cellular connectivity facilitates a variety of services:

  • Multi-User Applications 
  • Connected Experiences (e-Government Services) 
  • Smart Cities (Traffic Management; Connected Infrastructure) 
  • Public Safety and Emergency Services (Disaster Response) 

Property owners and managers need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure quality cellular reception—not just to meet tenant expectations but because of the potential to incorporate lucrative, mobile-driven value-added services into their leasing arrangements. Fortunately, with advanced DAS technology from WilsonPro, ensuring reliable, robust coverage in order to improve cellular reception in buildings doesn’t have to be difficult or unaffordable.

Contact WilsonPro today for your next steps in enhancing your building’s cellular reception.

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