Weekly Briefing

article sponsor image
Partner Content

Buildings of the Future Begin Today by Going Wireless First

4 min read
listen to article Listen to this article

An office with no desk connections or actual telephones used to be unthinkable. But with todayís technology itís not only possible but becoming a preferred method of planning a network.

Every building Ė whether itís Class A office, multi-family, industrial, mixed use, retail or large venue Ė needs a robust network to support workers, customers, patients or fans. Instead of keeping with the decades-old model of category cable snaking the lengths of every floor, there are other choices. These choices can save money, connect at longer distances and supply all your data and power needs now and into the future.

The foundation of this forward-thinking network is fiber optic technology. Just as data centers and the telecom industry have migrated fiber closer to the end user and the edge of the network, the enterprise is now taking its turn. Taking fiber beyond the riser enables Wireless First and so much more.

The need for Wi-Fi and cellular

Wireless First isnít just Wi-Fi. You need the cellular component as well. We know that 80% of cellular use is indoors, but that cellular signal canít reach everywhere indoors for many reasons. Between safety reasons should an emergency arise and the need for building occupant mobility within the space, Wi-Fi isnít enough anymore. Depending on the size of facility and density of users, small cell may be an option or a Distributed Antenna System or DAS. Both can provide the mission-critical cellular coverage needed indoors, even 5G. And once you have complete wireless coverage, desk connections become unnecessary unless the facility requires it to ensure the highest security (military or government, for example).

Flexible and scalable

The full adoption of Wireless First will take some time, maybe a decade to happen. But until then, as each deployment goes live, we will be able to see the benefits. One is flexibility. Because a fiber-based infrastructure has virtually unlimited bandwidth, the network is ready to handle tomorrowís technology today. So, as the next big thing rolls out you can easily scale and add applications to meet the needs of your tenants without laying new cable.

For the building occupants, their workday becomes more flexible. Because they are no longer hard-wired into their workstations, they can work anywhere in the building and expect the same level of connectivity as if they were plugged in.

Less material gets you more

While Wireless First has obvious benefits for the end user, network and building owners/operators will see their own advantages. Once you go wireless, the 80-year-old telecom model we have been operating under is completely called into question. In new buildings, you can eliminate most or maybe all IDFs because all the connectivity lies either in the MDF or at the edge of the network via Optical Network Terminals. In existing structures, the IDFs become largely irrelevant. With no more active equipment on each floor, youíll have more money in your pocket thanks to lower utility costs because those spaces no longer require HVAC support.

When you implement a Fiber to the Edge network to support Wireless First, you also protect your network from the need to rip and replace category cable when the next big cable upgrade is deployed. Less material is wasted and the cable installed at the initial deployment is much smaller than traditional cable. Conduit can be smaller and cable trays can be reduced in size or removed completely. And desk phones? No longer needed. Many enterprise customers are moving to soft phones or relying on cellular devices for voice calls.

Adding more applications with smart technology is inevitable. Intelligent buildings are everywhere now, and they rely on a robust network to gather data, run applications and efficiently run the building. Wireless First technology is an important component to consider as you plan your next smart project.

Attracting tenants

As companies begin hiring younger, those employees who have lived on wireless all their life are not only comfortable with a Wireless First office, they are excited about it. Workers have come to expect ubiquitous connectivity wherever they are, and their place of work is included.

So, where do you even begin? Whether you are building a new factory or upgrading your retail center, Wireless First can help set you up for smooth network operations far into the future. If there are internal sceptics, consider a pilot project with a segment of the building. Let the benefits and performance data speak for themselves. And once itís up and running, youíll wonder why you didnít consider making the move sooner.

For more information on Wireless First and network solutions for your next project, visit www.corning.com/everon.

John Dulin, VP, Market Development, Corning
John Dulin is a 30-year global telecom and enterprise executive and has held senior positions in product management, marketing and sales in the areas of fiber optics, wireless and new technology development. Currently with Corning, John is focused on introducing its fiber optic and wireless innovations to the commercial real estate market.

This Week’s Sponsor

Corning Optical Communications delivers connectivity to every edge of the network, with optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment to fully optimize solutions for high-speed communications networks. For the enterprise, a future-ready fiber network can enable the ability to converge multiple technologies over a single, simplified infrastructure, helping to deliver high-demand building applications like Wi-Fi, security and Corningís in-building cellular solutions.