Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Getting Britain’s buildings connected

By Richard Bourne, CEO, StrattoOpencell
Monday 17 June 19

As we begin to see the first 5G networks going live in the UK, the reality remains that cellular coverage of any kind can often be patchy, particularly where it is most needed – in buildings.

Research has shown that some 90% of all mobile use takes place indoors, and increasingly today’s enterprises are adopting policies like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or ‘Mobile First’, where landlines are being completely replaced. These approaches require support for all mobile operators in order to be effective. However, even as mindsets shift, and the demand for connectivity indoors rises, the problem of poor in-building coverage is simultaneously being exacerbated by modern building materials and techniques which…

Research has shown that some 90% of all mobile use takes place indoors, and increasingly today’s enterprises are adopting policies like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or ‘Mobile First’, where landlines are being completely replaced. These approaches require support for all mobile operators in order to be effective.

However, even as mindsets shift, and the demand for connectivity indoors rises, the problem of poor in-building coverage is simultaneously being exacerbated by modern building materials and techniques which, though environmentally friendly, can also block cellular signals.

In the private sector, poor signal may result in lost sales or employee frustration, but in the public sector the ramifications can be more significant, especially in cases that literally represent a matter of life or death. By adding a voice and data mobile service alongside traditional LAN/Wi-Fi solutions, you are adding complete network resiliency for all mobile devices.

At StrattoOpencell we are at the forefront of delivering multi-operator cellular coverage in buildings. Technology-agnostic, and able to connect all four UK mobile network operators, we’re known for providing reliable carrier grade indoor connectivity anywhere it’s needed. We tailor bespoke solutions to a building and customer’s specific needs, while managing everything through a simple ‘as-a-service’, model whereby customers pay per square foot for the highest-quality mobile coverage available inside.

We are also the only mobile connectivity service listed on the G-Cloud government suppliers database. In the two years since we were first approved, we have gained comprehensive experience in the sector. To date we are proud to have deployed and be managing in-building connectivity for a range of public service organisations, including:

 

Hertfordshire Partnership University Hospital

Thanks to StrattoOpencell, the hospital now takes advantage of a multi-operator mobile service, ensuring service users, visitors and staff can all stay connected with the world beyond the hospital doors.

 

Sussex Police

In 2018, Sussex Police underwent a large redevelopment to modernise their offices in Brighton. The development used materials notorious for blocking signal and therefore necessitated finding a multi-operator provider to ensure staff and visitors could access a reliable network while indoors. We were able to provide exactly what they needed, enabling coverage from all four operators.

 

Southampton Science Park

Set in 45 acres of attractive landscaped surroundings, the University of Southampton Science Park provides high quality office and laboratory space that hosts a vibrant and high-tech entrepreneurial business community. The Benham Campus, a two-storey office block, was designed to provide a “first class working environment” and now has mobile signal indoors to match this ambition.

All of this experience has also shown us that connectivity is increasingly not just about voice services; cellular is also being used to connect a wide range of sensors and other devices that form part of the growth of the Internet of Things. Similarly, mobile is fundamental in providing a resilient layer of connectivity for future 5G networks to be built upon, regardless of other smart technologies.

As the government seeks to deliver on the promise of its Digital2020 vision, we are delighted to be appearing at Connected Britain. Having already connected over 130 buildings UK-wide, the time is now to talk about how we can further enable digital transformation in public sector settings.

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