Building-friendly wireless vs. wireless-friendly buildings

Trends in building construction are tending to make them less and less friendly to traditional wireless coverage. The LEED standard, which is more and more the touchstone for modern building construction focuses on eco-friendliness and heat conservation. It’s true to say that, what’s good at keeping heat in, is also good at keeping radio out. Good news for in-building small cells, right? Well it ought to be, but rather than investing in multi-operator licensed radio small cells, end-users are voting with their feet with Wi-Fi as the default in-building wireless solution. Recent forecasts from Mobile Experts are showing promising growth in small cell shipments, but there’s a long way to go before small cells overtake WiFi as the in-building wireless technology of choice. So, on the face of it, buildings are not particular friendly to small cells, and the only building friendly wireless is WiFi. But is that a sustainable future? Building owners are desperate for cellular coverage, and would take operator managed solutions, but can’t live with single-operator managed solutions. What’s next for in-building small cells, to make them properly building- and building-owner friendly?

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