By Julie Song, President of Advanced RF Technologies
The BYOD and enterprise mobility market could more than double over the next four years, from $35 billion in 2016 to $73 billion by 2021, says a new report by MarketsandMarkets. That growth is driven in part by enterprises’ need to increase employee productivity and satisfaction while reducing hardware costs. But the rise and anticipated dominance of bring-your-own-device policies even within the Fortune 500 has dramatically altered the reseller market, too, offering a newfound opportunity for telecom systems integrators and relevant equipment manufacturers to cultivate top-tier clientele.
Before BYOD was commonplace in work environments, a carrier-funded model was the most popular funding scheme for enterprise in-building connectivity. This approach was mutually beneficial for the wireless service provider and the venue. Carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile would cover the cost of DAS (distruibuted antenna system) technology, repeaters, base stations and small-cell equipment. For these carriers, this funding model represented a high cost of doing business with enterprises, but one that provided significant ROI insofar as the carrier would typically gain thousands of enterprise customers. However, the model also closed a highly valuable segment of potential customers off from the reseller market, to the extent carriers had their own exclusive network of DAS providers and service professionals to perform installations.
Today, we rarely see exclusivity to a particular carrier’s signal at any given enterprise. I’m seeing this firsthand, as my company makes in-building wireless systems, including those used for large, densely populated venues, like buildings that host Fortune 500 companies as well as sports stadiums, airports and hotels. Still, the need is there: In many cases, the cellular signal from outside cannot adequately penetrate into the building. In others, having a large number of employees connected in a concentrated space spreads the signal too thin. Many employees now bring their own devices and offer their employers very little choice in the decision-making process of which carrier they subscribe to.
According to that MarketsandMarkets research, BYOD programs are implemented in 36 percent of companies and are projected to be in place at almost 50 percent at the start of 2018.
This has shifted attention to other, less common business models for ensuring connectivity to large venues and organizations — many of them representing untapped opportunity for resellers.
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The first model type to gain more usage is building-owner funded. While it’s no longer ideal for wireless service providers to front the cost of DAS technology, the requirement to keep employees connected hasn’t changed. Facilities ranging from Wall Street to collaborative working spaces still need to provide superb in-building connectivity to their resident companies and employees. Without expertise from the carrier in choosing the right DAS for their size, building owners need professional advice to ensure a connectivity solution that fits with their building’s unique structure and installation requirements.
One of the most difficult aspects of selecting a DAS is identifying the …