22 Apr Technology Amenities for Luxury Housing, Part 1: Management Choices
Nest Thermostats, Amazon Echo, Apple Home, Connected LED Lighting, Wi-Fi calling, Smartphone-controlled Locks, Bluetooth Speakers, even connected Coffee Makers… the drum beat is getting louder – every device in a resident’s home is acquiring its own set of ‘smarts’. We used to only be concerned with getting Wi-Fi to laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, video, music… now even your cell phones, which have their OWN networks, are pushing phone calls to your building’s Wi-Fi. Bottom line – your Wi-Fi network is beyond critical. It’s essential, demanded, required 24/7/365 and at the top of the list of technology requirements.
Let’s assume you are convinced that you need a widely accessible Wi-Fi network. Great. So do all of your residents! To be sure you have a system that meets everyone’s expectations, and keeps you compliant with Federal wire-tapping laws (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about), you need a plan to manage it all. We’ll get to the Feds a little later.
The goal of a Wi-Fi management system for Luxury apartment buildings and condos is to keep your Wi-Fi reliable and working properly throughout the property. This is not as simple as you might think. First you need to eliminate unauthorized devices that create interference and lower bandwidth. One type of management system looks for devices that are interfering with each other, such as residents that install their own unauthorized equipment, and lets you know who and where so you can take appropriate action.
Next, Wi-Fi management makes sure the system is using the optimal frequency band and that the load is spread evenly amongst the network. Accurate monitoring and notifications gives the system administrator information about any faults so remedies are in place before any outages are even reported by the users.
Property-wide Wi-Fi must to be designed properly from the start of the project. As you get later into the build, costs rise and optimum outcomes become harder to achieve. A successful design including correct raceway locations are critical. Yes, Wi-Fi is wireless but making it work requires wiring! This is all the responsibility of the developers and installing contractors. Be sure they and all the ‘subs’ are on the ball.
Next, we’ll cover the three general types of MDU Wi-Fi architecture, and delve into Federal wire-tapping regulations. Send us your topics and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, your comments and questions are welcome too.