Posts Tagged ‘4g’

WiFi and Tablets- Two Tech Tools to Leasing Freedom

March 20, 2013

Advances in technology have certainly improved various areas of our professional lives, and streamlined processes which otherwise require much time and resources. Many companies are making the decision to digitize more than ever before; and this is especially evident in the property management realm.

A recent article published by Units Magazine in the March 2013 issue, outlines how management companies are becoming [even stronger] advocates of community-wide WiFi access, in conjunction with implementingImage wireless devices to aid in the leasing process. In the article, author Paul Bergeron III explains that these technological advances are not simply for the larger REITs or national firms, but work favorably for management companies and communities of all sizes. Bergeron follows two management companies in particular throughout his article, Pillar Properties of Seattle, Washington, and Roscoe Properties of Austin, Texas, and documents their experiences concerning the implementation of property-wide technological systems.

Vice President of Pillar Properties, Billy Pettit, explains why their management company decided to install property-wide WiFi access, and what advantages have come of that decision, “Our agents can connect from anywhere on the property: from the underground parking garage to where they are standing on the roof. With our system, they don’t have to ‘sign in’ every time they walk into another part of the property.” He continues to add, “We’re finding that there is a segment of the prospective resident base that would choose not to live with us if we didn’t deliver this kind of connection speed.” For Pillar Properties, technology has drastically helped them to lease and retain renters; Pettit states, regarding a recent 234-unit opening, “It leased in four months (November to February)– which happens to be traditionally four of the slowest leasing months of the year.” For Pillar, it is undeniable that community-wide WiFi and technology advances at the property on the management end have helped to expand and sustain their base of business.

And it is no different for the folks over at Roscoe Properties, either. Vice President of Administration for Roscoe Properties, Steven Rea, said, “From what I see, we are way ahead of most in the country when it comes to applying mobile strategy to our marketing. I see us as being a digital company in an analog business.” He continues on to add, “The tablet has helped improve the agents’ ability to close leases at a moment’s notice– and when the moment is right.” In addition to the ease and readiness of using tablets to streamline the leasing process, Rea firmly believes that using state of the art tablets and technology vs the standardized paper forms, shows residents that their management company is cutting edge and tech-savvy, innovative and ahead of the curve; “They like that”, he concludes.

It is undeniable that we are amidst a technological revolution, and certainly the implementation and use of such technologies is to the advantage for modern businesses. Property-wide WiFi access is becoming an absolute make or break deal for the majority of today’s renters; and certainly the property management sector is headed down a new and exciting technological path. For Rea, his company’s goal is to be 100% paperless by years’ end; for some, this has become common place. For others, this is only the beginning.

Just How Important is Wi-Fi?

January 14, 2013

The proof is in the pudding. A recent survey conducted by global research and consultancy firm Analysys Mason for Amdocs reveals that not only is Wi-Fi evolving into a critical differentiator for service providers, but also revealed just how important it is.

                Regardless of lingering technical and business related issues, 89% of all surveyed service providers (which include fixed, mobile, and cable), either already have or planned to deploy/leverage a Wi-Fi network. In addition to this, respondents rated the importance of Wi-Fi as >7 out of 10, with emphasis on the value of Wi-Fi for growth as a service provider.  Most business owners tend to equate “Wi-Fi” with free access, and, if this is you, this might be key to differentiating your business. Free Wi-Fi access is a great way to essentially reward your customers for their patronage, and incents them to come back. With many network providers also offering email marketing kits linked to the Wi-Fi network, there is no limit to the advantages and benefits one might yield. Think as a business owner for a second: if you had the ability to completely customize the splash page of your in-house Wi-Fi network with branding, offers, coupons, and other enticing offers for your customers, wouldn’t you fully take advantage of this massive marketing advantage? Sounds like a win-win situation for business owners and service providers alike.Image

                It is no secret that people want Wi-Fi, and they want it everywhere—seamlessly. Numerous municipal efforts to implement Wi-Fi prove this; and although many of those efforts have been terminated, cities are still striving for blanket Wi-Fi availability, including Chicago and Seattle who are both looking toward the advent of public and private networks, and New York City who just made an agreement with Google to light up part of the city.

                A “seamless experience”, between cellular and Wi-Fi, which rated a staggering 8.1 out of 10 by those surveyed, still proves to be one of the top technical barriers in deploying; second only to authentication issues.  Amdocs own vice president for product solutions marketing, Rebecca Prudhomme, stated, “This underscores the importance of having secure, scalable authentication and authorization solutions in place for ensuring a seamless experience as customers move in and out of the Wi-Fi network. Furthermore, real-time policy control opens up new opportunities for Wi-Fi monetization by allowing service providers to offer a range of differentiated services over Wi-Fi, such as tiered services and premium quality of service.” Which brings me to my next point:

                Monetization. As most of the technical issues will be sorted out in due time, another area which needs a fair amount of innovation are service providers’ monetization models. While a generous 57% of service providers whom have already deployed Wi-Fi networks state they are monetizing their offerings, the survey also found that many of them are looking to revamp “old” monetization models which eliminate directly charging customers.

“Our research shows that while the service provider Wi-Fi market is still in its early stages, service providers are adopting a forward looking attitude that goes beyond using regular Wi-Fi to offload congested 3G and 4G networks. While offload is still a priority, it’s clear that service providers are looking to service provider Wi-Fi as a competitive differentiator, and there is strong interest in exploring new and innovative business models for Wi-Fi monetization.”,  said Chris Nicoll, principal analyst at Analysys Mason. This survey has revealed much about where the service providers will likely take the market next, and has also shed some insight onto the importance of Wi-Fi for not only data offload, but for a competitive advantage.Freeing up data with the implementation of Wi-Fi networks, either city-wide or more localized will certainly be a massive stepping stone in this technological era we are experiencing.  

Signaling traffic, not video, creates data gridlock over 3G network according to Fierce Wireless article

April 21, 2010

Image Courtesy static.guim.co.uk

As fiercewireless.com staff writer, Lynnette Luna indicates in her article, “We have been bombarded with news during the past year that a tsunami of data traffic threatens to overwhelm 3G networks–and even 4G networks down the line.”  This is absolutely true.  It seems as though a major publication mentions  data gridlock over the 3G and (soon) 4G networks and possible solutions (such as Wi-Fi) at least once a week and cellular companies seem to be scrambling to come up with a solution (not to mention the masses of bloggers that address this issue everyday).  Many articles in the past have indicated that the largest contributor to the 3G problem comes from people streaming video on their Smartphones.  For example, a MacDailyNews article from December quotes AT&T Executive, Peter Svensson, as saying, “that the most high-bandwidth activity is video and audio streaming” and refers to “Wireless data hogs who jam the airwaves by watching video on their iPhones”.

According to Luna’s article, video mobile data traffic being responsible for 3 and 4G data gridlock, may not necessarily be the case.  Luna points to “Signaling Traffic” as the big contributor.  Basically signaling traffic is when your smartphone has to set up a “signaling path” when a request is made.  For example, if you are constantly checking Facebook, IMing, Tweeting, etc. your smartphone sets up a signaling path and then goes into standby to preserve battery – as soon as you go to send another message (which for many of us, may only be minutes or seconds later) a new signaling path needs to be set up by your smartphone.  Put even more simply: you are asking your smartphone to repeatedly coming out of idle to perform a task.  These constant requests made over 3G (signaling traffic) is, “outpacing actual mobile data traffic by 30 to 50 percent, if not higher”, Luna quotes Michael Thelander, CEO and founder of Signals Research, as saying.

The article also touts Wi-Fi as being the solution to offloading data gridlock that cellular companies, such as AT&T, are beginning to have no choice but to utilize.  Finally, Luna’s article also mentions the femtocell that cellular companies are beginning to offer to solve their poor indoor coverage issues, she mentions femtocells as part of the solution to the 3G data gridlock issue, however, I think that she was incorrect in bringing femtocells into the data gridlock issue, because, as one of the responders to her post, “Amit Shaked” stated, “it looks like Femtocells will more likely be used for voice-offloading solution (e.g. solving 3G coverage indoors) while Wi-Fi will most likely be used to offload large volumes of data traffic, like video and photo sharing.”  A following responder, “KK” went on to express many consumers dissatisfaction with the femtocell and referred to it as being, “the dumbest invention I have ever heard of…Femtocells serve zero purpose and they solve zero problems.”  As we have mentioned before, we have created the solution: Cell-Fi™.  Cell-Fi™, using your smartphone over the Spot On Wi-Fi network, does a few things.  First of all, you are able to offload data off 3G onto our Wi-Fi network.  In return, you are experience faster data transfer.  You are also about to use voice over Wi-Fi, eliminating dropped calls, poor signal and the need for a [pointless] femtocell.  Learn more about Cell-Fi™.  View Spot On Networks coverage area.

Fortune magazine touches on Cellphone Gridlock

March 22, 2010

Fortune Magazine’s Scott Cendrowski has jumped on the bandwagon to touch on the issue of cellphone gridlock over the 3G and 4G networks.  What’s the solution, according to Fortune?  Like many have already said, offloading data to Wi-Fi networks is the answer (Cell-Fi).  Fortune’s Cendrowski,  goes on topraise the Wi-Fi networks as “cheaper to operate and can be 10 times faster than 3G” (a thing we in The Wi-Fi Revolution love to hear).

We know the solution, but what is the actual problem?  According to Fortune, the 3 and 4G networks were simply not designed for this type of traffic.  One smartphone user can generate the traffic of 30 cellphone users and when you have tens of thousands of people utilizing the same network and generating data traffic (through surfing, video, etc.) you get: gridlock. Fortune also mentions the large of amounts of people who use their cellphones and smartphones at home, at work, sitting at their desks – these networks were designed as an “on the go” service.  Now cellphone and smartphone use is the standard and many people forgo the landlines altogether (I know I do).

Learn more about Cell-Fi.  We will be posting a video shortly that shows you how to access the Wi-Fi network from you smartphone for less dropped calls, faster data transfer and less cost.  Stay tuned….