Archive for the ‘news’ Category

The Answer Is Here! Solving Your Property’s Cellular Coverage Issues

April 12, 2013
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Ericsson reported in 2012 that from the third quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2011, mobile data transmission increased by 600 percent. Projections by Cisco seem to indicate that the trend will continue, especially as more video is delivered over the internet.

Indoor cellular coverage is becoming increasingly more important- literally by the day. The Pew Research Center reports that smartphone ownership has increased dramatically over the course of 2011-2012, from 35% to 46% of US adults, totaling a 31% increase in less than one year. Add to this the research conducted by Ericsson reported in 2012, showing a 600% increase in mobile data transmissions between the third quarter of 2009 and fourth quarter of 2011 alone, and it becomes undeniably evident that we are knee deep in the wireless revolution. In fact, 80% of multifamily residents now use their mobile phones as their primary phone, as the land line slowly recedes into the night of technologies past. The disappearance of the corded phone is being solidified by new business models introduced by money hungry cell phone companies; these giants are privy to the fact that data usage far outweighs voice communications, and have incented consumers to do away with land lines, by offering unlimited talk time, while adding (not-so-unlimited) data usage fees.

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The Pew Research Center reports that smartphone ownership increased from 35 percent of U.S. adults in 2011 to more than 46 percent of U.S. adults in 2012, a 31 percent increase in less than one year.

All of these changes, quite rapid changes mind you, are creating unintended consequences for many multifamily building owners and residents alike. As the building industry shifts focus towards energy conservation and more sustainable building practices it has become evident that many of the new building materials are particular resistant to cellular service penetration. As you can imagine, this is posing a huge problem for building owners and residents, especially as people become increasingly reliant on wireless technologies. If residents don’t have cellular service inside their homes, how will they make calls to friends and family? More importantly, how will they call 911?? These questions are not to be ignored.

Over 20 times a week someone from the multifamily industry is contacting Spot On Networks for suggestions on how to deal with this difficult, time-consuming, and potentially very costly issue. At Spot On Networks we have dedicated an enormous amount of time to helping building owners combat their cellular dilemmas, and are happy to say, we have just the solution for you.

The right answer can vary from property to property, dependent on the exact circumstances, budget, and level of convenience necessary for residents. The first solution is the DAS System. DAS stands for Distributed Antenna System, and can be quite costly to implement, coupled with extensive installation. Spot On has configured a solution to not only eliminate poor cellular coverage, but to offset the cost of installing an extravagant DAS System: CellBOOST. CellBOOST typically costs about 1/5 of a DAS System, AND provides property wide WiFi.  CellBOOST boosts cellular signal within a building by strategically placing a number of bidirectional amplifiers within the building, and a donor antennae on the roof which receives the cellular service from outdoors. CellBOOST is non-carrier specific, and is Passpoint 2.0 ready for the up and coming technologies.

The second possible solution would be to use existing WiFi applications. If WiFi is available at a property, residents can use mobile VoIP applications, such as Skype as an alternative phone service to make all of their calls, including calls to emergency services- however the location of said caller is not as visible as otherwise. For texting, there is an app called WhatsApp, which enables texts to be sent via Wi-Fi.

Lastly, the lonely Femtocell. The Femtocell is a small, low-power cellular base station designed for in home use. Although each carrier dubs the device something different, all versions are similar operationally: Plug in an internet cable, and use cell service from a single carrier (hence the “lonely”) in an individual apartment (for a fee, of course).

All of these solutions have their own pros and cons, however, when we take a look at the future, it becomes clear that the more effective solution for the long term would be along the lines of CellBOOST. Within a few months, the WiFi Alliance and the Wireless Broadband Alliance will release a compatible set of protocols and procedures that make WiFi networks complementary to cell carrier networks. ImageThe service, called Hotspot 2.0, uses the WiFi Alliance’s Passpoint 2.0 certification procedure for product certification to promote secure, seamless roaming between cell services and WiFi networks. (Read more here.) The first Hotspot 2.0 solution is expected to be introduced during 2013. Some access points are already Passpoint 2.0 certified, such as those deployed by Spot On Networks, used in CellBOOST. It is imperative to take a look at your property’s cellular coverage issues with an eye on the future- the DAS System will not hold up to the Hotspot 2.0, and neither will Femtocell. With all of these solutions available, cellular coverage issues within a building are soon to be a thing of the past (much like the beloved land line…), however, the important thing is choosing the right solution for your needs, and one that will stand the test of time.

No Noise Is Good Noise

December 26, 2012

As internet usage and the increasing demand for immediacy expand, Internet Service Providers are quickly learning that unresolved glitches and errors in network functionality are creating much ‘noise’ on the social media front, ultimately translating into a bad rap- for property managers and providers alike.

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In an article written by David Daugherty for Broadband Communities magazine’s October 2012 Issue, he explains, “Noise is an indicator of how well a service provider performs day to day. If residents make noise in the front office about poor internet performance, rest assured they are voicing their discontent socially.”  This is especially a concern in the student housing sector, as students so widely rely on the internet and social media for many daily activities, such as schoolwork and entertainment. At student housing properties, this noise does not go long unheard, as social media sites are an optimal vehicle for the residents to ‘echo’ any issues they might be experiencing. Philip Emer, director of technology for Preiss Properties, states that in some cases, it has even proven helpful to use said social media thread to help diagnose and address certain problems networks may be experiencing. It is no secret that any problems with service not rapidly addressed, have a surprisingly efficient way of presenting themselves to not only fellow residents, but also property management, regional and corporate offices, and the service providers. In the long run, inadequate customer service definitely has the potential to create a poor reputation for all parties involved.

Luckily, there is a solution. It has taken some time, trial, and error, but the industry is now realizing that many former business models are in need of a total revamp, such as self-help and troubleshooting interfaces. It is important that any network used at a multi-unit facility, especially student housing, is fully managed and monitored to assure a seamless user experience. Subscribers are eagerly seeking swift, tech-savvy, easily attainable customer support representatives, and more service-oriented assistance, less reliant on the outdated do-it-yourself model. Daugherty says simply, “key stakeholders must understand that maintaining customer expectations is a never-ending task”.

AT&T announces iPhone tethering – gets rid of “unlimited data” in plans

June 2, 2010

According to fiercebroadbandwireless.com, AT&T announced, that as of June 7th (the anticipated date of the new iPhone OS 4) they will be changing their current smartphone pricing plans.  AT&T is doing away with unlimited data usage and instead will offer 200 MB of data for $15 per month or 2 GB of data for $30.  According to AT&T the unlimited data plan is unnecessary, reporting that 98% of AT&T smartphone users are using less than 2 GB per month and 65% use less than 200 MB per month of data.  That sounds all well and good – but why get rid of the unlimited data plan then?  If only 2% of customers are benefiting from the unlimited data, why risk agitating them if it’s a non-issue?  That doesn’t seem to make much sense. What does make sense, however, is that in an effort to curb the ongoing data gridlock issue that AT&T has been experiencing for sometime now, in addition to providing free Wi-Fi in areas like NY and pushing consumers towards the Microcell,  AT&T is doing away with offering it’s subscribers unlimited data.

On the upside, however, AT&T will not be charging ridiculous overage charges in the event that a user exceeds their data plan.  For the present billing cycle, the customer will simply receive another monthly data purchase of the amount of data that they currently pay for (200 MB or 2 GB).

In more big AT&T smartphone news – AT&T is finally announcing that users will be able to purchase tethering for the iPhone OS4 (read about the stolen iPhone OS4 here).  For an additional $20 per month, iPhone will be able to tether to their laptop via USB or Bluetooth (if they have purchased the higher data usage plan called: DataPro).  This is huge news as one of the main features of competing smartphones, such as the Droid OS (FroYo) is the availability of tethering.  Consumers and technology news outlets have long been wondering when Apple and AT&T would bring tethering to the iPhone.  Apple has brought, upon itself, a lot of controversy by not offering features with it’s mobile devices that are proving to be expected and common-place features  (such as tethering, Flash support, etc) as well as keeping a tight reign on app production (such as WiFi Sync – an app that was hugely beneficial to many consumers).

The makes data gridlock solutions like Cell-Fi™ even more important.  Now that iPhone users will have a cap on their data consumption – it will become even more important to offload data to Wi-Fi networks to avoid racking up even more charges on your monthly cellular bill.  Data usage over Wi-Fi will not go against the data that one uses over the 3G network.

Free iPad Summer Slogan Contest Winner!

May 28, 2010

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Matthew Crowe of Long Beach, CA – winner of our 2010 “Wi-Fi Summer Slogan Contest” and winner of a 32 GB iPad, courtesy of Spot On Networks!  Matt’s winning slogan “Internet…with no strings attached™” really blew us away.  In only a few words, Matt was able to describe what Spot On Networks High Speed Wi-Fi is all about.  “No Strings” means a lot more than just Wireless (Wi-Fi) Internet.  It means no “sign-your-life-away” contracts, no extra fees, taxes or equipment to purchase, no hidden terms and no misleading introductory pricing… “No Strings” means The Wi-Fi Revolution™!

Thanks Matt for a great slogan – we love it and hope you love your new iPad!

Wi-Fi News and Technology – The Wi-Fi Revolution™

May 18, 2010

Please visit our new home. We are committed to providing you with up-to-date and accurate news on all things Wi-Fi (wireless).  The Wi-Fi Revolution™ blogs on breaking news in the Wi-Fi industry, Cell-Fi™ (using your Smartphone over Wi-Fi), the latest in Voice Over IP (VoIP) news, wireless technology, Wi-Fi enabled Smartphones, Cellphones and other devices, signaling traffic, data traffic, Wi-Fi as an amenity in MDUs (multi-dwelling units) and all things iPad, iPhone, Android, CALEA,etc.  We are currently in the last few days of our “Win a FREE iPad Contest”.  If you have been thinking of enter go here and enter your “What The Wi-Fi Revolution™ means to me” slogan in 10 words or less.  We will be ending the contest at midnight on Friday, May 21st and the winner will be announced on May 28th.  We have received some GREAT slogans and awesome comments about The Wi-Fi Revolution™!

WiFi to 4G Roaming Technology

May 14, 2010

WiFi News out of Sweden.  Technology startup, Anyfi offers technology to increase the security of mobile Wi-Fi Hotspots.

Press Release courtesy of: www.wirelessdevnet.com

Lund, Sweden – Swedish startup Anyfi Networks today came out of stealth mode to present Anyfi.net, a Wi-Fi roaming technology they hope will shake up the mobile broadband industry. This new technology lets an Internet service provider offer the same Wi-Fi user experience both at home and on the go.

“Until now Wi-Fi hotspots have been difficult to use and inherently insecure. Our solution works with any Wi-Fi device out of the box and provides fully automatic WPA security” said Björn Smedman, CEO.

The trick is combining Wi-Fi with IP, Internet Protocol, to break the tie between logical network and physical infrastructure, much in the same way as Voice over IP separates your phone service from the physical line.

“You can think of it as Wi-Fi over IP” explained Björn Smedman. “Our cloud based matchmaking service keeps track of each device’s favorite network and makes sure it is available from the closest access point. By forwarding the raw Wi-Fi radio traffic over the Internet we can ensure security, even if an attacker is in control of the access point.”

According to the company this high level of security is one of the key features making the technology suitable for integration in modems of various types, and this is what makes it potentially disruptive, effectively turning Wi-Fi into a full-blown 4G technology.

“Today only about 1-2% of residential broadband capacity is actually used. The rest just goes to waste. At the same time we are seeing mobile networks brought to their knees under the load of data-hungry devices like the iPhone. If you can guarantee that there is no negative impact whatsoever to the subscriber, why not use some of that spare capacity to offload mobile?” asked Björn Smedman.

Using this reasoning a broadband connection with a Wi-Fi router at the end can be thought of as a building block of sorts and Anyfi.net is the mortar. By combining them, existing infrastructure can be transformed into a radio access network, license-exempt and Wi-Fi compatible. A fixed-line operator with a high density of broadband subscribers in an urban area could become a mobile operator over night by simply upgrading the modem software, something that can be done remotely. But smaller operators could also join together to collectively provide mobile Internet access, with worldwide roaming.

Episode 6: Spot On Wi-Fi TV

May 14, 2010

GO TO OUR NEW BLOGwe have a new look and a new homewe will keep posting here until we are sure that everyone is aware of the move.

Watch Spot On Networks VP of Sales, Oliver Oetterer, recap the 2010 Broadband Properties Summit! The Wi-Fi Revolution™ was in Dallas! Learn more about Community Wide High Speed Wi-Fi Internet and Cell-Fi™ (Save money.  Save minutes.  Use your smartphone over Wi-Fi).

Our Blog has a new look and new home

May 13, 2010

Visit our new blog home!

http://www.spotonnetworks.com/wordpress

Win an iPad from Spot On Networks!!!

March 21, 2010
win a free ipad

Win a FREE iPad

Think you’re creative?  Think you got what it takes? Enter our “Wi-Fi Summer Slogan” contest!

Tell us what “The Wi-Fi Revolution” means to you in 10 words or less for a chance to win!  In addition to winning an iPad, the winning slogan will be used on Spot On summer promotional material!

Fill out your online entry form now for a chance to win an iPad: The hottest Wi-Fi device on the market today! Be iReady for summer!

Enter Here

View Contest Details

Press Release: Spot On Networks Announces New Website

February 22, 2010

Press Release: Spot On Networks announces “New Website”

View Press Release or read:

Spot On Networks, LLC (“Spot On”) today announced the launch of their new website.

New Haven, CT (PRWEB) February 13, 2010 — Spot On Networks, LLC (“Spot On”) today announced the launch of their new website design. With this new design, users will find it easy to locate the multitude of services provided by Spot On. Property owners and residents will find their own pages on the site, making website navigation targeted specifically to the viewer.

Due to the increased demand for Multi Family Building (“MDU”) Wi-Fi services, the Spot On Design Team recognized an opportunity to develop a more accessible content design which allows for easy maneuverability. Residents will find it easy to subscribe to services and manage their accounts as well as view current promotions. Property owners can access current collateral, products and services, company information, leasing agent training and industry research surveys.

Current Wi-Fi News and a Blog discussing the latest in the latest in this rapidly changing technology is also available and constantly updated.

“We are very excited about our new website design. We will continue to update our site in our quest to provide a high level of service to our customers,” said Dick Sherwin, Chief Executive Officer of Spot On Networks, LLC.

About Spot On Networks: Spot On Networks is the largest service provider of High Speed Wi-Fi Internet to the multifamily housing industry. Utilizing various technologies, Spot On Networks provides High Speed Wi-Fi capabilities throughout a residential complex that replace the need for DSL or Cable Modem services while providing complete mobility and faster service within that complex.

Contact: Shirley Eis, Director
Phone: +1 203 525 5210
Email: seis (at) spotonnetworks (dot) com