In-building deployments and network enablement solutions within commercial real estate have continued to be one of the most indeterminate facets of 5G and next-generation tech. As it becomes apparent that buildings need to deliver the ubiquitous connectivity and capability that is expected in the always-on digital world, many questions are arising about how it gets funded, what the value is, how it changes the relationship between landlords and tenants — the list continues. Yet, the trend of needing connectivity in commercial real estate shows no signs of slowing, so thoroughly considering how this trend will reshape investment and in-building deployments is vital.
To encourage conversation on this topic, the 2019 NEDAS NYC Summit, an event focusing on education and collaboration at the intersection of wireline and wireless, offered a keynote panel titled Leaders and Financier’s Perspectives on In-Building Technology Investments.
The panelists noted that ten years ago, tech-equipped real estate and in-building deployments were looked at primarily as a revenue opportunity. As a result, building owners looked to outside entities to pay for the deployment and expected to garner revenue from the project. In the end though, many buildings ended up falling behind on proper coverage for tenants. Now, however, the main discussion you hear when listening to conversations about in-building service is that it has switched to become more like an amenity. Landlords are starting to realize that it’s not just about generating revenue, it’s about ensuring that tenants are getting what they need to succeed inside the space. Ultimately, the consensus is that the landlords and building owners who aren’t making the investments to ensure tenants have great connectivity are going to be at a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace.
From there, the conversation switches to considerations based on the location and size of each individual building. Mostly, it has been buildings with over a million square feet that compel carriers to feel like investing in connectivity and indoor Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) is worth it. When you start to get into smaller buildings, the math becomes more difficult and bringing a project to fruition becomes complicated when responsibility and costs fall on the owner of the space.
Although opinions are shifting about how to provision in-building technologies, many buildings still are lacking proper systems due to financial or investment concerns. As a result, there are still a lot of gaps to be closed (and questions to be answered) in this realm as the world continues down the path to a more digital 5G future. Overall, ensuring that commercial real estate spaces are properly covered and connected ensures that building owners are attracting successful tenants and keeping those tenants happy. It’s clear that paths for success are still being formed, but the industry is surely headed toward a more ubiquitous world of wireless.
To learn more about this topic, please click here to view the entire panel presentation.
To learn more about NEDAS, please visit www.nedas.com.