Posted on June 1, 2017

Is Your Condo Complex Losing Buyers (or Tenants) Due to Weak Cell Service?

Phil Bloomberg

Vice President of Commercial Sales

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The luxury residential condominium market is more competitive than ever. The latest and greatest amenities — from swimming pools to entertainment spaces to concierges — are a must for the most discerning buyers. As a developer or property manager, you need to stay up on all of the latest “must-have” features. But, in the struggle to remain competitive, are you forgetting some of the most basic and critical services?

Is your Condo Losing BuyersCellular connectivity is more important than ever. More than half of Americans live in cell-phone only households. These people rely on their cell phones for personal, business, and emergency use. Even if you incorporate all the other best-in-class amenities into your new condo developments, you could lose tenants if your building doesn’t have adequate cell phone signal.

Fortunately, passive distributed antenna systems (DAS) offer a way for condo developers and property managers to boost the cellular signal in their buildings and offer strong cellular connectivity to their tenants.

Top building materials equal poor connectivity

From classic exposed brick to new-age renewable materials, the most sought-after building materials are often the most detrimental to cellular connectivity. Even in highly developed urban areas with numerous cellular towers, signals can struggle to penetrate a variety of natural and man-made obstructions, including:

  • Terrain: Mountains and hills can all absorb cellular signals before they reach your phone.
  • Vegetation: Thick forests, tall trees, and other vegetation can form natural barriers to cellular signal waves.
  • Atmospheric conditions: Turbulent storms, thick fog, and other weather conditions can easily disrupt cellular signals.
  • Man-made obstructions: Brick, concrete, and steel materials in bridges, buildings, and other man-made objects are notorious signal obstructors.

The most common obstruction in condo buildings remains building materials. Concrete, steel, and glass used in building construction all interfere with cellular signals. Radio frequency (RF) signals simply cannot filter through these common materials. Instead, large buildings deflect and distort the signal waves.

Improving cellular connectivity with a passive DAS

If you find your building lacks adequate cellular signal, it’s time to consider your connectivity options. Start by conducting a site survey. A site survey will identify the weakest and strongest signal areas in your building. You want to perform this test with a signal meter. Signal meters detect and display signal frequency, bandwidth, and strength.

Once you’ve determined the areas of weakness, you can identify potential solutions. Installing a passive DAS is one way condo developers are enhancing their buildings’ connectivity. These systems, also known as cell phone signal boosters, capture outside cell signals, amplify them as much as 32 times, and then rebroadcast that signal within your property to ensure tenants get the best signal.

A luxury condo building in Montreal recently installed a passive DAS to solve its connectivity problems and saw significant signal gain. The signal inside the building was enhanced to -47dB db from the -120db the lobby received before the project began.

Download WilsonPro’s Buyer’s Guide to find out more about how our solutions can enhance the cell phone signal in your residential condo building.