The research found a desire by IT managers to take remedial steps to solve their in-building coverage and capacity problems. A quarter of those respondents whose businesses have had an issue had turned to their carrier for assistance but found their service provider was unable to help. Meanwhile over a quarter (28 percent) of IT managers claimed to have taken connectivity matters into their own hands and their businesses have installed a wireless system to improve coverage and/or capacity issues. A further 19 percent reported they had looked into installing a system but had yet to do so.
However, the survey also uncovered a significant business opportunity for mobile operators that can address the in-building challenge and deliver additional services to the enterprise. Nearly half of the IT managers surveyed (47 percent) reported interest in Mobile Device Management as an operator-hosted service to manage, monitor, secure and support mobile devices in the enterprise. 40 percent demonstrated an interest in Wi-Fi as a service from their operator. These findings support a recent report by Exact Ventures, Enterprise Mobility Services are Market Opportunity for Mobile Service Providers, which concludes that managed mobility services represent a $100 billion market opportunity for mobile operators, and a saving of 35% a year for enterprises adopting such operator-delivered managed and hosted services.
A city can have almost ubiquitous 3G cellular coverage, but thats only half the mobility story, particularly when it comes to in-building services for enterprise customers, said Art King, Director of Enterprise Services & Technologies, SpiderCloud Wireless. Too many businesses suffer from not only patchy indoor coverage in their premises, but also capacity issues that mean dropped calls, late texts and substandard data rates. Not surprisingly, a high number of businesses say they would churn to an operator that could guarantee better service but the fact that they havent already suggests that far from being an operator-dependent issue, it is actually all too common. Theres a real opportunity therefore for the operator that can solve the in-building headache and then open up further incremental revenue streams from the new managed services they can offer over the top of the enterprise RAN, he continued.
Enterprise small cells have emerged as the most promising technology to deliver high-capacity and 3G coverage inside offices. Analyst firms such as Infonetics, ABI Research and Informa expect enterprise small cells to be the fastest growing segment of the small cell market. ABI predicts small cells for enterprise deployments will catch up with DAS by the 2016 timeframe reaching the $2 billion mark by 2016.