Mobile operators have invested TRILLIONS of dollars in wireless networks worldwide, and today we have mobile services in every country, with good coverage in most outdoor areas. But indoors, wireless coverage is a different story. Mobile operators are willing to pay for a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) for a big stadium or a giant hotel complex, but smaller buildings have been neglected. The operators simply don’t see an adequate ROI for investing in smaller buildings.
That leaves more than 900 billion square feet of commercial real estate with no dedicated indoor solution. Some buildings get good coverage from nearby towers, but huge numbers of buildings remain where the indoor coverage is poor.
Building owners are getting impatient. For the past 15 years, some building owners have been repeatedly asking mobile operators to invest in in-building solutions, and they’re getting nowhere. For hotels, hospitals, shopping malls, and hi-rise office buildings, the building owners are losing money because of poor wireless coverage, and the situation is getting critical for some of them.
In our interviews with hotel owners, we heard that about 30% of guests will not return, if LTE coverage is poor in the hotel. That’s serious money left on the table.
In fact, as we interviewed building owners in multiple vertical markets, we discovered that the revenue impact per square foot is significant for ALL of them. A hotel owner loses $4 per square foot in revenue due to poor guest connectivity. A retail shopping mall loses about $2 per square foot if LTE coverage is poor. Hospitals rely on texting between doctors and nurses. It’s simple stuff that they need, not sophisticated file sharing or high-resolution images.
These enterprises have already installed Wi-Fi, but they still feel that LTE is required to make their customers happy. They are looking for an LTE solution that is as simple as their existing Wi-Fi network…but having trouble finding it.
Neutral host companies are ready to help here. They have an ecosystem of VARs and system integrators. They have capital. They’re willing to sell to the enterprises. And they have the expertise to work with the mobile operators. They simply need good networking products to work with.
Ongo networks offer a new solution for buildings that need a simple solution. OnGo promises the quality and reliability of LTE, with the neutrality and simplicity of Wi-Fi. The key is for vendors to prove that their ad hoc OnGo networks provide a high quality experience, so that the mobile operators will be willing to let their users authenticate on the network.
The opportunity is huge, and the customers are motivated. The key is for the industry to satisfy Verizon and AT&T with high quality.