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ClearSky Announces the First Deployment of FORTÉ, a Multi-operator, In-building Cellular Coverage Solution for Mid-sized Properties

ClearSky Announces the First Deployment of FORTÉ, a Multi-operator, In-building

Cellular Coverage Solution for Mid-sized Properties

FORTÉ™, the cellular industry’s first indoor small cell coverage solution that simultaneously supports AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, has gone live at a popular beachside resort in Clearwater, Florida. FORTÉ is now available to any property looking to improve in-building cellular service.

Orlando, Fla. (May 25, 2017) – ClearSky Technologies, Inc. has leveraged its extensive background in small cell technology to bring to market the cellular industry’s very first in-building cellular coverage solution based on enterprise-class small cells, enabling service from a combination of the top four U.S. wireless operators. This new service, branded FORTÉ, includes design, installation and ongoing support service. Shephard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida was the pilot site for this innovative, market-leading technology development effort. With the completion of this first site, FORTÉ is now available to any property looking to improve in-building cellular service.

FORTÉ is a combination of technology and services based on a new generation of enterprise-class small cells. Relationships with industry leading small cell providers such as SpiderCloud, CommScope, Nokia and Ericsson have enabled ClearSky to be the single point of contact for properties needing indoor cellular service. In addition to managing the small cell sourcing and deployment, ClearSky handles all of the necessary cellular system design and implementation tasks with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. ClearSky operates the FORTÉ system as a managed service, ensuring optimum performance and ongoing support.

“As a manager of a very well-known resort in Clearwater Beach Florida, I know that our guests come here for both work and pleasure,” stated Paul Andrews, General Manager of Shephard’s Beach Resort. “Our guests constantly have their smartphones with them and having proper cellphone coverage is extremely important to their overall guest experience. Many areas in our resort had little or no cellular signal until ClearSky arrived. We have gone from mediocre cellular service to 5-star coverage throughout our property, and both the guests and staff are ecstatic. In particular, our meeting room clients have given us rave reviews about the great coverage inside our meeting rooms. I would recommend FORTÉ by ClearSky to other property managers who want to improve guest satisfaction.”

Mid-sized properties that have struggled to find a cost-effective solution to indoor cellular coverage issues now have a solution with FORTÉ. “With this announcement, the rules of the game have completely changed for properties that need to address their cellular coverage issues,” explained Dean Fresonke, Senior Vice President ClearSky. “Now a single phone call to ClearSky can result in a fully managed multi-operator cellular coverage solution for a reasonable monthly service fee. With FORTÉ, property owners can now deliver what their tenants or guests have been demanding for decades—superior cellular coverage wherever they live, work or play.”

According to government reports, there are over 4.8 million commercial buildings in the range of 15,000 to 500,000 sq. ft. in the U.S. Property owners and managers of these mid-sized buildings have long demanded a cellular coverage solution that can satisfy coverage and capacity needs of their tenants, customers or guests in every corner of the building. ClearSky addresses this crucial need with its FORTÉ multi-operator cellular system.

About ClearSky Technologies, Inc.

For more than a decade, ClearSky Technologies has been a leader in deploying and operating wireless network infrastructure for mobile operators. ClearSky’s experience in cellular network planning, design, deployment and operations makes it possible for properties of all sizes to deliver powerful cellular coverage to all their employees, customers and guests. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, ClearSky has provided a variety of managed services to more than 80 wireless operators across the Americas. For more information, visit www.forte.csky.com.

Holistic HetNet Design at 4m Resolution

Imagine a world where Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) network engineering can improve results with input and guidance from other organizations such as sales, marketing and customer service. Historically, RF network decisions have always been made by network engineering management, and rightly so, since they had the RF design tools to tell them how to improve coverage and/or increase capacity in their macro networks. The move toward heterogeneous networks (HetNets) has changed the game. Suddenly the tried and true RF design tools used to build macro networks are as useful as a butcher’s cleaver for laser eye surgery.

Now imagine an RF design platform and service that can provide RF propagation with one-meter resolution and indoor/outdoor traffic maps with four-meter resolution.  When this leading edge design platform creates your HetNet design, you can conduct a “Show Me” analysis using different layers that can represent both network performance and operational metrics such as churn, subscriber demographics, and marketing zones.

A “Show Me” example could be: “Show Me all the locations where I should add a small cell in my top ten marketing zones known to have poor coverage, and where I know I have high churn among subscribers with annual incomes of at least $75,000.” Suppose the results of the “Show Me” analysis indicate you should deploy 550 small cells, but you only have enough budget for 175. To resolve this trade-off you can use the NetView 360 platform to analyze the 550 locations and prioritize each location based on any of the aforementioned layers, thus enabling you to deploy 175 small cells where they will provide the most impact. We call that: The low hanging fruit!

If you would like ClearSky to help you find your low hanging fruit, please contact us.

Text Messages Are The Preferred Communication Method

There has never been a better time to offer short codes to your subscribers, and ClearSky’s iCode® service enables you to do just that. Did you know that…
  • 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via SMS. (Digital Marketing Magazine)
  • Over 80% would like to receive a maximum of two marketing messages per month. (Digital Marketing Magazine)
  • 44% of consumers would rather receive product details and other marketing messages through text messages. (Direct Marketing Association)?
So what do these stats tell you? They tell you that your subscribers want to participate in short code marketing campaigns.

Did you know that ClearSky’s iCode service is connected to approximately 20 different aggregators and partners including Twitter, iconectiv, Open Market, Syniverse, Sybase and mGage, to name a few. These aggregators have business relationships with hundreds of content providers that support marketing campaigns for thousands of businesses in the U.S. and Canada alone. Add it all up and ClearSky’s iCode service supports over six thousand short code campaigns on any given day. These campaigns generate millions of messages every month for our clients, that in turn bring value to their subscribers.

So if your subscribers currently don’t have access to short codes, or if you want a competitive quote to compare to your existing short code service provider, contact your ClearSky account manager. We’ll have you up and running in a few short weeks.

“Shifting from Neutral to Drive”

The notion of “net neutrality” has been one of the controversial topics of debate in telecommunications over the past few years. First coined in 2003 by Columbia University Professor Tim Wu, the idea was that a communications network (e.g., an Internet Service Provider) should not have the right to limit speeds or otherwise adversely affect a user’s access to the Internet. The debate heated up in 2014 when President Obama announced his strong support for net neutrality. Many telecom industry giants immediately opposed certain aspects of net neutrality, calling it over-regulation and too much government. Some claimed that net neutrality would discourage infrastructure providers from continued investment in their broadband networks, since there is no clear path to recovering that investment. In 2015 the FCC approved net neutrality under the title “Open Internet Order.”

On the wireless side the debate is fuzzier. To avoid jeopardizing its stance on net neutrality, the FCC had initially exempted mobile operators from compliance. However when the Commission decided that the rules applied to telephone carriers, the mobile industry seemed to be included, although the extent and manner of enforcement are not clear. Meanwhile, net neutrality has been appealed to the Supreme Court, and enforcement in the near term is unlikely.

The changing of the guard in Washington that will take place in January forebodes a major shift in political philosophy in everything from immigration to health care to taxation. Many laws enacted over the past eight years will be revisited, and the behavior of many government agencies will change as new leadership assumes control. Last week’s resignation of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will result in some uncertainties for wireless operators. Once the inauguration is behind us, it will be interesting to see how Donald Trump’s administration will deal with net neutrality. Political pundits are expecting significant deregulation, including the repeal of net neutrality.

In almost every likely scenario, mobile operators will be given the freedom to manage their own networks, and will be encouraged to invest in future growth and innovation. Hence, not surprisingly, in the past few weeks since the election, we have seen renewed interest in ClearSky’s Total Traffic Manager (TTM). This service allows wireless operators to measure, manage and optimize their subscribers’ data traffic. You can build creative rate plans that allow you to count, bundle, segregate, divert, or selectively charge for different types of traffic. And the TTM service features an in-network appliance supported by a team of experts behind the curtains who will work with marketing and operations staff to build and enforce your data usage policies.

So, if you have been on the fence about traffic management and policy enforcement, now is the time to shift from neutral to drive and accelerate your business performance!

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.