The explosion of mobile devices is propelling digital transformation in the workplace. 69% of organisations say they are more likely to provide mobile access to enterprise applications than they were last year. In addition, overall budgets for enterprise mobility are expected to grow by 10% over last year.
However, mobility is not a one size-fits-all-solution.
When planning your mobile-first strategy, the desired outcome is always unrestricted mobility and wireless uniformity within buildings and among geographically dispersed locations. But how you achieve that uniformity is different for every company and every vertical. A vital component of building out a successful mobile-first strategy is to consider all available wireless technologies, what will work best in each environment, and most importantly, to make sure they function in harmony.
At the foundational level, the first step is using intelligent networking that includes the basics of common structured cabling—fibre and copper CATx—plus carrier/internet connectivity. From there, you can layer on solutions for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE and 5G, small cells, DAS, public safety and two-way radio.
Let’s look at large building deployments with high user densities of 1,000 plus wireless devices, such as company headquarters, conference centres, large manufacturing sites, airports, etc. Large organisations, such as these, with the need for advanced applications and performance requirements, would do well with a DAS (Distributed Antenna System) and premises Wi-Fi solution.
For organisations with a large number of distributed buildings, say even 1,000 or more, a small cell and cloud Wi-Fi might be a better solutions. Examples include hotel chains, bank branch offices, retail outlets, restaurants and more. Because it’s unrealistic to expect to have a dedicated IT staff at each location, you want a system that requires minimal IT support and is easily managed. But you still need a system that provides uniform mobility, especially when it comes to the customer experience.
Matching different solutions to building types enables you to meet all wireless technology requirements in a strategic way. While these solutions may appear unique, common monitoring and management, analytics, and security tie all of the solutions together at an enterprise level.
Location-oriented applications can get optimal performance through Wi-Fi as long as it is done correctly. By designing a network specifically for density, plus supplementing with BLE beacons, you can gain accuracy, particularly in hospitality, manufacturing and hospital applications.
Collaboration, Internet of Things and vertical-specific devices can leverage Wi-Fi, but can also include network and traffic segmentation techniques to ensure mission-critical performance requirements are not affected by other non-critical applications.
You also need to consider smartphone and tablet usage. The question here is whether to leverage Wi-Fi for smartphones or use a separate DAS/Small Cells solution. Smartphones can bring additional traffic, including voice calling, that can unnecessarily burden a Wi-Fi network, especially in hotels, hospitals and office buildings. Using a dedicated DAS/Small Cell solution spreads the traffic among the Wi-Fi and DAS/Small Cell networks. In addition, while enterprises may select a single wireless carrier, support for all carriers is typically required.
Finally, there are two-way radio and public safety considerations. These are implemented on DAS and Small Cells exclusively and requirements are often specified by national, state, and local governments prior to facility occupancy.
When considering mobility, talk to Black Box first. Leverage our experience and expertise to design, deploy and manage a comprehensive mobile-first strategy through a combination of technologies, solutions and partners, making sure they work together to provide critical performance.
Discover how to enable everything wireless at your enterprise by downloading the Make Mobility Happen eBook.