TECHNOLOGIES TO FOLLOW IN 2018

The Internet of Things

Citizens Broadband Radio Services

FirstNet

2018 could be a break out year for these developing technologies all of which will have an operational and financial impact on the Commercial Real Estate Industry

The Internet of Things

 The Internet of Things (IoT) will bring significant efficiencies and cost savings to Commercial Real Estate projects. Enabled buildings will have ability to collect, aggregate and analyze billions of incoming data points which will collectively present a holistic operational view of many of the in-building electro/mechanical devices and systems. Predetermined key performance indicators (KPIs) will be instantly available enabling building managers to be far more timely and effective.

It should be noted that IoT is an evolutionary process. Since it involves thousands of sensors producing with millions, if not billions, of data points, its real value will take time to be fully realized.

However, much of the hardware and software needed to generate KPIs is in place now and the first end-to-end systems should be coming on line in 2018. There is a clear message to developers; to be competitive, buildings coming out of the ground in 2018 need to be IoT enabled.

Citizens Broadband Radio Services

Sophisticated Wi-Fi networks have been deployed over the years to off-load cellular services and cope with the ever increasing demand for data. Many hoped the deployment of Wi-Fi would also provide voice services, but VoIP has proven to be a less than an optimal substitute for seamless and robust in-building mobile voice connectivity. DAS has been effective in provided in-building coverage and capacity, but it comes at a high cost and the requirement to execute a complicated process requiring time consuming, and quite frankly, frustrating carrier interactions to procure signal source. CBRS radios, not unlike unlicensed Wi-Fi access points, will support all the carriers and provide LTE services on a private network.

2018 should usher in the first practical CBRS systems yielding high quality 4 carrier unlicensed LTE cellular services. The good news is that the CBRS system should cost about the same as Wi-Fi at the system level, and be as easy to deploy as Wi-Fi with little if no carrier involvement. CBRS should be a real game changer and worth close consideration for every CRE new project or venue that does not currently have cellular enhancement.

FirstNet

As of 2016, there were 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 18 organized boroughs, 11 census areas, 41 independent cities, and the District of Columbia for a total of 3,142 counties and county-equivalents in the United States. All of these counties/municipalities have well established and long standing networks of emergency repeater sites throughout their geographic boarders. The strategically placed towers and antennas, much like cell sites, enable voice communications via hand-held land mobile radios. These RF networks in conjunction with 911 center based trunked computer systems that control them, are the primary voice communications for the counties and states police, fire and emergency medical personnel.  These systems are critically important as many times they are truly a life-line for our first responders.

Now, a Federal government initiative called FirstNet will overlay those, mostly 800 MHz voice only networks, with a separate ‘cellular network’ that will augment the voice capabilities with 4G LTE image/video producing data.

This is a large, complicated and very ambitious, but important initiative. It is moving ahead deliberately, but very slowly. However, many of the prerequisites are finally in place, so 2018 should be a year of substantial progress. In the next couple years bringing the FirstNet cellular signal into commercial buildings could be similar to building owners needing to comply with local in-building Public Safety Radio systems ordinances, which will add another code requirement and potentially additional construction costs, but also another level of safety for first responders, and better outcomes in emergency situations.

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As a contributor to Connected Real Estate magazine online and print I will be closely following IoT, CBRS and FirstNet writing about those subjects on a regular basis.   If you have an immediate need for additional information on these subjects please contact Bob Butchko at bobb@fifthgenmedia.com or 973.244.5868 x104 (O), 302.515.4811 (M)

 

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