NASHVILLE – On the show floor at TESSCO One this week, we went hunting for some dirt on up and coming trends in the wireless space. And one thing that is already on its way is WiFi everywhere.
According to Jeff Lime, vice president and general manager of Ventev, a wholly-owned manufacturing division of TESSCO, WiFi technology is picking up steam on the same path that cellular followed in years past.
“WiFi was originally more of an indoor technology. It became very prevalent and almost expected indoor,” Lime observed. “Over the years the trends have been moving into outdoor, particularly because carrier plans were not unlimited. So anywhere you could get on a WiFi network and you could offload from cellular to WiFi as a consumer you were excited to do that. And then as WiFi became more expected in the outdoor space, hotspots weren’t good enough anymore. So it’s now moving toward ubiquitous WiFi, where I want WiFi everywhere just like I want cellular everywhere.”
While watchers of the space already know that WiFi systems for venues are a big trend right now, Lime said it doesn’t stop there. Other locations, like hospitals, shopping malls, and manufacturing plants, are aiming to blanket their buildings and grounds with WiFi. Lime said even entire municipalities are looking to expand WiFi access.
For shopping malls and other retail locations, Lime said ubiquitous WiFi can serve as a draw for customers who might otherwise spend their dime elsewhere, while it carries efficiency benefits for manufacturing and other industrial applications. For municipalities and cities, Lime noted WiFi coverage can be offered not just as a perk for tourists, but also as a service for residents, as in New York City’s LinkNYC system.
“WiFi’s following those same trends cellular is following,” Lime explained. “WiFi is going down that same path of both indoor and outdoor … That is a trend that we’re seeing. Obviously, it’s a very early trend and it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”
But what’s Ventev’s role in this WiFi push?
Lime said the company offers environmentally appropriate enclosures for WiFi access points, including sealed housing for hospitals and street lamp toppers for municipal scenarios, as well as high density directional antennas and colocation mounts to accommodate use cases with large groups, such as college lecture halls.
Filed Under: Infrastructure