BY JIM JACOBELLIS, SVP OF SALES
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the development of smart cities, neighborhoods, and spaces. These intelligent environments utilize various advanced technologies to enhance the quality of life for residents, improve the efficiency of services, and reduce the environmental impact. The concept of a smart city, neighborhood, or building complex revolves around the idea of creating a more sustainable and livable community by leveraging technology to optimize resources and streamline operations.
Smart amenities can offer multiple benefits to multi-dwelling units (MDUs). Firstly, it can improve the overall resident experience by providing more convenience and control over their living spaces. Smart devices such as thermostats, lighting systems, and smart locks can be remotely controlled via a smartphone or voice assistant, providing residents with more flexibility and customization options. Smart devices can increase energy efficiency and lower utility costs for both residents and property owners. Smart cameras and door locks can provide remote monitoring and control, allowing property owners to protect their assets better and residents to feel safer.
Smart Spaces, an organization that works with property owners, managers, and technology leaders, recently held an in-person event in Dallas focusing on property and innovative home wireless amenities. I was fortunate to attend and participate on a panel discussing “Internet of Things – Physical objects with the ability to connect and exchange data with each other over the Internet. A network of objects that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, to connect to and exchange data with other such objects or networks. More Platforms: Creating New Service Opportunities.” It was my second trip to Dallas in as many weeks, most recently attending the OnGo Alliances’ bi-annual meeting. Here are a few of my thoughts on the inaugural Smart Spaces meeting.
Just the Numbers
Parks Associates, the market research firm that organized the Smart Spaces event, shared some interesting numbers to ensure we’re all discussing the same ‘space.’ Parks reported that there are roughly 700,000 multi-family homes in the US, 26 million apartment units, and about 30% of US broadband homes live in multi-dwelling units (MDU), so a large market is ready for smart amenities.
The most popular smart amenities being adopted include cameras and security solutions, intelligent parking, energy management, and in-unit automation. Increased use of these solutions results in increased resident satisfaction, improved staff efficiencies, and higher rents for landlords.
I’m guessing there were about 100 attendees, which I see as fitting into four categories:
- Device manufacturers and application providers
- National broadband players (e.g., Frontier, Cox Communications, Xfinity)
- Managed Wi-Fi / ISPs
- Property owners and managers
What was presented?
The event organizers did a fine job of arranging presentations on topics of interest, such as:
- What Do Property Managers Want
- What Do Residents Want
- Broadband Services and Role of Connectivity
- Building Owner and Property Manager Perspectives
The full agenda can be seen here.
Education is Needed
Most MDUs rely on Wi-Fi or public cellular networks to provide wireless connectivity to residents. However, as the demand for faster and more reliable wireless connectivity continues to grow, attention should be paid to the potential benefits of using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (Citizens Broadband Radio Service Radio frequency band between 3.5 GHz and 3.7 GHz that can be used for 5G, 4G or LTE communication. The FCC has recently opened these band to general use. Learn more about CBRS More) private networks. CBRS networks can provide dedicated, secure wireless connectivity for MDUs, improving the overall user experience and providing additional benefits, such as lower Time required to send data over two points in a network. More and higher The amount of data transmitted between two or more endpoints in a second. More. Interestingly, when the audience was asked about CBRS, only about 20% were aware of it. Clearly, we, the vendors and providers, need to better educate the customer base about this viable option.
The development of smart cities, neighborhoods, and spaces is an exciting trend that has the potential to transform the way we live, work, and interact with our surroundings. As the market for smart amenities in multi-dwelling units continues to grow, it is essential that vendors and providers educate property owners and managers about the potential benefits of utilizing advanced technologies such as CBRS private networks to provide wireless connectivity. The recent Smart Spaces event in Dallas demonstrated enthusiasm and interest in this emerging field. By leveraging technology to optimize resources and streamline operations, we can create more sustainable and livable communities that enhance the quality of life for residents while reducing environmental impact.