So you're ready for the IBW project. Let's put some options on the table..

Posted by Aakriti Pandey on May 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM
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 We’ve all been witnessing the way today’s enterprise workforce has been changing and evolving beyond imaginations over the recent years. We’ve all been a part of it! Part of the crowd that’s getting more crowded by the day. Number of connected devices are through the roof, and the type of applications that run on these devices are getting increasingly bandwidth-hungry.
Now you see that the operators’ macro network struggles to penetrate the building through the sturdy construction materials. You realize that there’s a gaping hole and you’re keen to do a thing or two about it. You’re keen to not let your enterprise tenants run for the window to take a call. You’re keen to take that next step.

Maybe you already have. Maybe you’ve already drawn out plans and had some site surveys done. Maybe you’ve already made a solid business case justifying the need for an IBW infrastructure in your building. Kudos to you for incorporating IBW in your business strategies! Good call.

But who’ll put money on the table? And in how many ways can you skin this cat? Well, there’s certainly more than one!

CapEx or OpEx?

This is one of the most common questions that we often get asked. After all, funding IBW project is a tough ordeal that calls for a lot of planning, work, efforts and well... Money. “What is your organization’s preference” is perhaps the first question to ask. However, we’ve laid some options on the table to help you decide.

Operator funded IBW Project

It is certainly an option, and one that’s been around for a long time. Operators have been funding IBW as a part of their core business model for decades - but boy, do they have other priorities! And that priority is called an ROI. Operators still consider backing the IBW projects and expanding their coverage from macro to micro, but a solid ROI is key. For the large venues and expansive facilities, like shopping malls, stadiums, convention centers, etc., this option could still be viable (and preferred)! The facility gets their project funded by the operators, and the operators gain good ROI off of it. However, for the smaller facilities, this option could still be on the table if they’re willing to settle with single-operator network, as the operators tend to only provide and support single operator IBW solutions for the smaller enterprise spaces.

Funded by third-party integrator

Another way to roll this out is by involving the third-party provider of IBW solutions, who would not only fund it, but would also take care of the design, planning, installation, and operations of the multi-operator IBW project, end-to-end. It then recoups the costs by a) on-charging it to the operators for accessing the IBW network, and b) through the revenue generated via ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the network. Again, this model is only lucrative for these third-party integrators if the facility hosts enough traffic crossing the IBW network to make it worth the consideration. If there is room for a decent ROI, it is an attractive option for the enterprises because of its fairly low CapEx and OpEx obligations.


And lastly, there’s always a good ol’ option of ‘self funding’. DAS is a relatively costly IBW project compared to some of the other alternatives, but has its sets of pros. Much like any other BYOD, Enterprise-owned IBW is funded, procured and installed by the enterprises themselves. Enterprise-funded IBW also allows them a full control over the networks, infrastructure, and management. However, this needs the enterprises to come up with the sizable CapEx.

In self-funding the IBW project, it’s crucial to make note of every requirements and prepare a comprehensive design to ensure all costs are factored in and avoid naughty surprises. No-one welcomes those. From in-building cabling, the current state of wireless infrastructure, the regulatory requirements, to the ongoing maintenance costs - everything is best accounted for in advance.

While this is the model that demands highest CapEx and OpEx obligations, it’s also crucial to note that while IBW will give an ‘competitive edge’ in the market.

It’s fast becoming a form of a ‘utility’.

An expectation. A need. A must-have.

There are ways to recoup this costs, and one option is to add this element in the pricing strategy and bundle the ‘unit cost’ to the tenants. Brag about it and let the market know that you believe in omnipresent connectivity in today’s world and you care about your tenants’ right to stay forever connected in a seamless fashion. You’re guaranteed to win more tenants that will stay long-term. After all, can’t we all go without food for the day but not an hour without connectivity?

Topics: Public Safety DAS, Commercial WiFi Blog Posts, Cellular Blog Posts

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