Why Wi-Fi Calling May Not Be the Answer

March 9, 2020
John Scola
Director, Mobility Program

In today’s omni-channel world, it’s all but impossible for businesses to avoid the need for  Wi-Fi connectivity. Not only is it essential for most business operations, but many consumers seem to expect it as a necessary tool to boost or supplement in-building cellular signals. In fact, poor cellular reception is a common issue in buildings, where roughly 80% of mobile traffic occurs, and Wi-Fi calling allows consumers to make and receive calls through a Wi-Fi network when a cellular mobile network falters.  However, Wi-Fi calling has its share of drawbacks.

The Pitfalls of Wi-Fi Calling

The pressure to deliver “5 bars” of cellular service may be why Wi-Fi calling is such a popular solution for the occasions that a mobile network doesn’t meet consumer demand. But businesses should be aware of the risks before they lean on Wi-Fi calling as a method for guaranteeing connectivity in their facilities.

If your organization’s public Wi-Fi network is unsecured, it could be used to distribute malicious software. Hostile actors can also “snoop” on public Wi-Fi networks, possibly gaining access to crucial trade data or the personal information of customers and employees.

Aside from these security concerns, firms that offer public Wi-Fi and allow it to be used for Wi-Fi calling should also be aware of the bandwidth limitations that can impact user experience and operational efficiency. If both customers and employees are connecting to a shared Wi-Fi network or access point, the system can bend under the high demand—and if your public Wi-Fi slows down, you can be sure your clients will let you know about it.

These concerns will only become more pressing with the ever increasing demand for data, and as the world marches toward 5G as a technological standard. However, the right equipment can address these issues while also making way for the next wave in connectivity.

A More Future-Forward Solution

Just as the proliferation of Wi-Fi can’t be undone, so too is the inevitability of 5G technology. In fact, it’s already here. Companies around the U.S. are already in the process of examining the future need g of Wi-Fi networks as they  begin to review  the benefits of 5G.

Full-scale adoption of 5G brings with it significantly faster connections, enhanced security, lower latency, and an enhanced Internet of Things (IoT), which creates networks between smart devices such as printers, manufacturing equipment, and more.

Making 5G work indoors still presents a challenge similar to older 4G LTE networks. Fortunately, a fiber-based Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) offers a tested and reliable solution for bringing the power of 5G into the buildings and offices where it is needed most.

CBTS offers a fully-managed DAS Indoor 5G solution that can provide all the speed, connection strength, and user satisfaction that comes with Wi-Fi calling without the security or reliability shortfalls. Its fiber-based infrastructure makes it easy to install and accessible to organizations looking to move data traffic off their current Wi-Fi systems. It also comes with full-scale support services, including cellular carrier relationship management, system monitoring, proactive maintenance, and regular performance reports.

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