Smart Home Solutions with Managed Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi infrastructure provides the foundational platform for new “smart home” solutions and new opportunities to differentiate the tenant experience. In addition, managed Wi-Fi is the foundational platform for property owners and managers to build all the service delivery, security, and maintenance.
Recently, I visited my son at his apartment and noticed an Ethernet cable running from the router in his bedroom into his living room. The Ethernet cable ultimately connected into his smart TV located in his family room. The wire was strung up along the wall, which is not a typical look these days with the availability of Wi-Fi. It was similar to what I would have done 20 years ago when Wi-Fi was relatively new and not very fast or reliable. Advances in Wi-Fi technology, including performance and reliability, have virtually eliminated the need for Ethernet. However, Ethernet must still have a place in multi-dwelling units (MDU) such as apartment complexes and student housing.
The Ethernet cable provides the same function as it did 20 years ago—fast, reliable Internet access. The Wi-Fi in my son’s apartment constantly dropped, resulting in an unreliable and frustrating experience. (No, he is not using a Ruckus wireless access point) The Wi-Fi challenges were apparent when we saw there were a plethora of Wi-Fi networks available and all competing for the same spectrum. This competition is common in MDUs since apartments, student housing and others still have a “bring your own service” model. Tenants have to call their local cable or telco service provider for service including their very own Wi-Fi access point. Thus, every apartment has its own wireless access point broadcasting its signal to everyone in its path. This creates a disruptive networking environment with numerous Wi-Fi access points all competing with each other.
With Wi-Fi, more wireless access points are not better and lousy Internet will have significant negative impacts on whether apartment owners can attract and keep tenants. Apartments with a bring-your-own-service model will find it increasingly difficult to compete. Managed Wi-Fi is an alternative to the bring-your-own-service model and provides both apartment owners and tenants with a variety of benefits.
With managed Wi-Fi, a service provider pre-plans the apartment Wi-Fi network and deploys all wireless access points in an efficient way to ensure optimal coverage everywhere in the apartment complex. This virtually eliminates interference issues and ensures tenants receive fast and reliable Wi-Fi in their apartment, and also wherever they roam within the property.
Apartment owners are using these advantages—excellent performance, coverage anywhere in the complex—to attract and retain tenants. With reliable, high-performance managed Wi-Fi across the property, MDU owners can:
- Make their properties stand out in a competitive market for tech-savvy tenants who demand fast service everywhere
- Increase renewals, since happier tenants tend to renew more often
- Deliver valuable new wireless smart home services, including Internet of Things applications such as keyless door entry, security, Wi-Fi thermostats and more
- Enable new revenue opportunities, when MDU owners include in the monthly rent a charge for Wi-Fi and other smart home services
- More easily attract future tenants, since guests at the property who get fantastic Wi-Fi are more likely to consider that property when looking for a new home
To find out more about managed Wi-Fi, download the Ruckus “Why MDU Properties Are Moving to Managed Wi-Fi” paper.