“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” – Thomas Edison
The way we live and work continually evolves with increased blending of personal and work time. “Work-Life balance” has formed a new meaning due to the constant connectivity provided by mobile devices, laptops, streaming services, voice assistants, gaming and video calls – combined with new flexible work options. Everything seamlessly shifts between work and home activities – until it doesn’t. Loss of connectivity that powers these activities comes at a big cost, which is why reliable, secure Wi-Fi has become a necessity in multifamily housing – no longer an optional amenity but one that nine out of ten survey respondents won’t rent without.
What does this mean for operators of multi-tenant properties?
A 2023 Hiring & Workplace Trends Report that looked to several countries for insights into labor market trends and the future of work found that remote/hybrid work is here to stay. Along with a need for more physical space for home offices and meeting spaces, fast, quality connectivity provides a significant benefit for both property owners and residents – especially in living spaces accommodating dozens to hundreds of units.
With support for high-bandwidth activities being essential, property owners of both new builds and upgrades should consider implementing a network that leverages Wi-Fi 6 technology due to its ability to deliver high throughput, reduced latency, and better performance in crowded environments. Predictions from wireless infrastructure analyst, Maravedis, point to this technology continuing its fast market penetration – with its launch showing the fastest adoption for Wi-Fi technology in history.
For anyone who’s read the headlines or looked into Wi-Fi architecture over the last two years, delays, supply chain challenges and skyrocketing costs may have put a stall on any network improvement plans. Some vendors are quoting lead times over a year to get key equipment such as wireless access points. These issues are predicted to continue causing problems throughout the year. If upgrades are needed now, it’s important to know what options are available.
Here’s a few things to consider
- Procure from a single source that has all network equipment on hand, from internet gateways and wireless access points to controllers and LAN switches. In this business model, “single source” means more than just convenience. It means in-stock inventory, flexible pricing, minimized contract management, lower support costs and a healthier bottom line.
- Protect the connected resident experience by ensuring sufficient bandwidth throughout the property, with everyone getting their fair share. This is especially important within multi-tenant buildings, but also extends to associated shared spaces, lobbies, pools, gyms and more. Today everything depends on fast connectivity from video streaming, smart thermostats and speakers, Zoom calls, mobile payments, gaming, online shopping and more.
- Ensure reliable uptime of critical network infrastructure by implementing a high-availability architecture, keeping onsite spares, and making sure the supplier or MSP can deliver zero lead time replacement units.
What does this mean for building out multi-tenant/multi-family networks? There is a need for a complete wireless network that keeps the number of individual SSIDs and ‘networks’ to a minimum to limit interference that degrades overall wireless service. Nomadix’s MTU solution enables each tenant’s traffic to be routed via its own account and VLAN ensuring security. The product’s management interface automatically creates VLANS for each tenant, eliminating the need to manually configure network equipment. Using a single wireless network with the property’s APs all controlled from a central location creates better service and helps enable the personal networks needed for the residents. And by having everyone on the single network with proper APs installed across the property, the experience stays consistent whether the residents are gaming at home, video calling from the pool, taking an online training course in a shared space or just streaming shows from their iPad. The alternative is having each individual unit set up their own wireless networks. These tend to interfere with their neighbors and don’t allow access away from that single unit.
With available stock of the necessary network components, smart communities can upgrade immediately to create quality Wi-Fi experiences that meet the evolving connectivity expectations of residents. Don’t let any more time slip away for your residents, property managers or your property investments. If you are at Apartmentalize, please join our team in booth #3922 to learn more about our multifamily offerings.
This article originally appeared on Multifamily & Affordable Housing Business.
Tammy Estes is chief product officer at Nomadix, a Woodland Hills, California-based provider of patented internet gateways, managed Wi-Fi and wired and wireless infrastructure networks.