WHY BYOD + BIG VENUES EQUALS NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTNERS
The BYOD and enterprise mobility market could more than double over the next four years, from $35 billion in 2016 to $73 billion by 2021, says a new report by MarketsandMarkets. That growth is driven in part by enterprises’ need to increase employee productivity and satisfaction while reducing hardware costs. But the rise and anticipated dominance of bring-your-own-device policies even within the Fortune500 has dramatically altered the reseller market, too, offering a newfound opportunity for telecom systems integrators and relevant equipment manufacturers to cultivate top-tier clientele.
Before BYOD was commonplace in work environments, a carrier-funded model was the most popular funding scheme for enterprise in-building connectivity. This approach was mutually beneficial for the wireless service provider and the venue. Carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile would cover the cost of DAS (distruibuted antenna system) technology, repeaters, base stations and small-cell equipment. For these carriers, this funding model represented a high cost of doing business with enterprises, but one that provided significant ROI insofar as the carrier would typically gain thousands of enterprise customers. However, the model also closed a highly valuable segment of potential customers off from the reseller market, to the extent carriers had their own exclusive network of DAS providers and service professionals to perform installations.
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One of the most difficult aspects of selecting a DAS is identifying the required frequencies to cover the building, since each carrier uses its own frequencies for 3G, 4G and soon, 5G. Building owners also need to choose a DAS that can be easily upgraded; future-proofing is critical to avoid the costly event of replacing the entire system when 5G becomes the standard.
In short, building owners desperately need the services of a systems integrator.
The second funding model being driven by BYOD is neutral-host owned/operated. A third-party provider, or neutral host, pays the upfront cost of the equipment and installation as well as providing ongoing maintenance. The neutral-host system owner then attempts to profit by supporting all wireless service providers, but charging them a fee to lease space. For carriers, this means avoiding the upfront costs of a DAS while retaining the benefits of keeping subscribers connected. For systems integrators, they can gain access to a clientele that was previously reserved for the carriers by partnering with these neutral hosts, many of which are still nascent in their existence and thus more flexible in their choice of partners.
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