Why your building’s bad signal is about to become a big problem

How reliable is the mobile signal in your building (or buildings)?

One-bar coverage has always been frustrating, but as consumers and businesses increasingly use mobile for everything from shopping to healthcare to colleague communications, it’s becoming a much bigger issue.

For mobile-first solutions to work, they need a mobile connection – with decent data speeds – in the buildings where people will use them the most.

If customers can’t get 4G in a supermarket, how can they use smart shopping apps instore? What good are digital patient records if carers and patients can’t access them in hospital? How effective will mobile communications be in a warehouse, if their call connection is intermittent?

Any mobile strategy – whether it’s a customer-facing App or an internal communication process – is only as good as the connection supporting it. Being able to guarantee mobile connection indoors is going to be vital to digital transformations in every sector.

And thanks to new technology like Cel-Fi, boosting signal indoors is now affordable and easy in virtually any building that needs it:

  • Retail - Smart shopping initiatives are the future of retail: a way to merge online and bricks-and-mortar shopping experiences. But 80% of retail workers report bad mobile coverage – which doesn’t bode well for customer connectivity. With reliable mobile coverage in stores, retailers could make digital solutions – like mobile checkouts, digital shopping lists, App notifications and product videos – seamless and convenient for customers and staff alike.
  • Factories and warehouses - Mobile communications can be simpler, more effective and more flexible than bespoke hand-held communications systems – that is, if in-building coverage is consistent and reliable. Factories and warehouses come second only to healthcare premises in terms of poor mobile connectivity, with 82% of employees reporting bad signal. This is an inconvenience in itself from an employee experience and productivity perspective, but as these businesses move towards App-based systems and processes, lack of 4G coverage will hinder mobile-first initiatives.
  • Healthcare - Eighty-three percent of healthcare workers experience poor mobile signal, making it one of the worst-affected industries for bad data and calls. This is becoming more than just a frustration in hospitals, clinics and care homes, as healthcare providers – including the NHS – look to mobile solutions to streamline their services. With reliable 4G and calling in healthcare buildings, providers can offer digital solutions – such as patient Apps, ward communications and test result sharing – with confidence. But without good in-building connectivity, these services can actually become more of a hindrance than a help. Mobile connectivity has also provided patients and staff with an important remote connection to families at home during the pandemic. Read how UCtel provided one NHS trust with reliable mobile signal during the pandemic here.
  • Offices - Employees increasingly use their mobiles for business communications – both with colleagues and clients. If conversations are consistently dropped thanks to poor calls and intermittent Wi-Fi calling, productivity and engagement can suffer: especially if people have to leave the office to take calls. Bad signal can also hinder uptake of digital solutions in businesses, such as employee Apps. By addressing in-building coverage, offices can integrate digital solutions and create a more communicative environment.

Why not use Wi-Fi instead?

Wi-Fi calling and data can seem like the obvious solution to in-building data and calls, but it’s not always the most reliable or cost-effective solution, particularly if a lot of people are connecting at once.

  • Wi-Fi can be unpredictable in larger premises, or interconnected buildings.
  • Drop zones or low Wi-Fi signal areas are frustrating, particularly as users move between Wi-Fi hubs.
  • It can be inconvenient: visitors will not always want to join your Wi-Fi network, especially if they’re in a hurry.
  • It can be expensive, especially if multiple users need access to data.

What causes bad signal?

The obvious culprit is weak signal strength in the local area, but this isn’t always the cause of poor mobile coverage indoors.

Mobile signal can also be interrupted by building materials, like glass, metal, brick and insulation. It can also suffer in buildings located in high-density areas, or those close to wooded areas or hills.

Whatever the reason for poor signal indoors, you may be able to boost your signal to give your users full data and calls coverage with Cel-Fi.

Suitable for most buildings, Cel-Fi’s affordable mobile signal boost technology brings better voice quality and data speeds to premises large and small.

  • Easy to set up
  • Low-impact installation
  • No interference with other wireless products
  • Network safe
  • Authorised by 200 mobile carriers
  • Automatically adjusts to changing network conditions

To find out if your network signal challenges can be fixed with Cel-Fi, email ivor.nicholls@uctel.co.uk or call 0333 344 4417.

Tags: Cel-Fiindoor coveragemobile coverageNHSUCtel

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