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Keeping Guests Happy with FORTÉ In-Building, Multi-Operator Cellular Service

A funny thing happens to hotel guests that find themselves with no coverage while inside the hotel. Instead of dialing “611” and complaining to their wireless operator, hotel guests have a strong tendency to blame the hotel. For hotels that cater to business travelers and host meetings and/or conventions, this issue is particularly acute. Thanks to the reach of social media and the importance of ratings and comments on travel websites, individual guests have tremendous power to influence buying decisions of future guests.

This perception that bad cellular service is the hotel’s fault turns an external cellular network issue into a problem the hotelier has to solve. This problem is multiplied by four in the U.S. because of the need assure that AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile phones all work to the guests’ satisfaction. Hoteliers have had no choice but to seek a solution to their cellular coverage problems to keep guests happy and conventions returning year after year.

Until now, mid-sized business hotels in the range of 100 to 500 guest rooms have had nowhere to turn for a solution. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) have been successfully installed in very large properties but the economics won’t work for mid-tier properties. Even if the owner or manager buys a DAS, it is by definition only an antenna system. Separate from the equipment investment, the property must convince all four of the wireless operators to bring a radio source and connect to the DAS in their building. This requires an investment of several hundred thousand dollars by each operator. Far more times than not, the operators chose not to participate in a mid-sized building. As a result, the word is out in the hospitality industry that a DAS investment is high risk and new deployments are few and far between.

ClearSky has changed the market dynamics with our FORTÉ® in-building, multi-operator small cell system. Thanks to FORTÉ, a property can pick coverage from any or all of the U.S. Tier 1 operators (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) and cellular service is guaranteed. Rather than using DAS, ClearSky uses operator-approved, enterprise-class small cell systems to create indoor coverage. Not only is operator participation guaranteed, the FORTÉ systems work in perfect harmony with standard IT infrastructure such as Cat 5/6 cabling and Ethernet switching. In fact, a FORTÉ system installation looks much more like an enterprise Wi-Fi deployment than it does a cellular radio system.
Hospitality is not the only market facing pressure for improved cellular service. Health care facilities, multi-family housing and university campuses are other examples of facilities that can solve cellular coverage problems with FORTÉ. Learn more by visiting http://forte.csky.com.

NetView 360 Can Increase Your Christmas Bonus

One of the problems in most MNO organizations is that various departments often operate as silos which makes it difficult for all the departments to work together to attain over arching business objectives. This lack of communication not only hamstrings the business but can also have an impact on end of year bonuses. This being the holiday season, we, at ClearSky, thought we would share at least one example of how ClearSky can ensure that your network engineering department works in concert with your sales and marketing departments to maximize your annual bonus.
Recently, a client used the ClearSky NetView 360® service to baseline, their UMTS network and audit their LTE network design. Their UMTS and LTE networks operate on 700MHz and 1900MHz, respectively. Base lining and auditing two networks on two different carriers is easily accomplished using NetView 360. Moreover, NetView 360 does this all at 4m resolution for traffic maps and 1m resolution for RF propagation. That in and of itself is a huge differentiator as compared to other legacy RF design tools on the market today. ClearSky further differentiated the service by being able to augment the RF analysis with sales and marketing information, or any operational metrics (i.e. churn, ARPU, etc.).
In this particular project, the MNO divided their serving area, which was an entire country, into many individual “marketing zones.” The MNO also prioritized which marketing zones were more important to them for financial and/or competitive reasons. Specifically, ClearSky provided Google Earth zone polygons, which were converted into a format that enabled statistical analysis within the polygons. The MNO also provided an economic list in PDF format, which was converted to a map of all neighborhoods. Weightings provided by the MNO were applied to enable a statistical analysis within each neighborhood.

By incorporating the MNO’s sales and marketing data into NetView 360, ClearSky was able to not only show where the network performance was poor, but was also able to show that in a variety of ways by marketing zone! This made it very easy for the MNO to decide how to prioritize their network improvements and where those improvements would best advance their over arching business objectives. Hello annual bonus!