American Tower partnered with Borror to meet connectivity demands
Borror, a residential real estate developer and property management company, quickly acted when it, along with many commercial real estate owners, recognized that connectivity is critical for achieving resident satisfaction.
Borror and American Tower worked together to enhance the connectivity at two properties—303 South Front Street and 985 High at The Castle, both in Columbus, Ohio—by installing wireless network infrastructure solutions.
“We wanted to offer fully integrated smart apartments,”said Kaileigh Steiner, Director of Marketing for Borror. “We think that’s the direction the market is taking. I know a lot of people who own homes that have that now, but we wanted to offer it as a management company and as an additional solution.”
303 South Front Street and 985 High provide high-speed wireless connectivity throughout the buildings. Residents have secure Wi-Fi wherever they are, whether in their own unit, at the gym, on the rooftop, or in the lobby.
“You have the flexibility to work anywhere and also feel your computer data is secure,” Steiner said. “It’s helpful from a security standpoint. People who have sensitive documents do not want their computer visible to others on the network, which was one of the problems we had at another building where we tried something similar.”
Residents at both locations not only enjoy peace of mind from having a secure Wi-Fi network, but can also take advantage of the amenities that come with a high-speed connection, such as flawless streaming, smart thermostats, and keyless locks. In addition, they have access to a guest entry system, so they can see who’s looking to enter, talk with the guest, and let them inside—right from their unit. The buildings’ fitness centers also have Wi-Fi-enabled televisions.
Borror offers its high-speed service at a lower price than local providers, and access is available the moment a resident moves into the unit.
“There’s nothing residents need to do,” Steiner said. “It’s basically, ‘Here’s your login, here’s everything you need, and you’re ready to go.’ There’s no need to schedule a rep to come out to install anything. We take care of all of the heavy lifting.”
Borror selected a carrier grade Wi-Fi service for its residents with assistance from WhiteSpace, a single-source advisor for building owners, developers, and architects. WhiteSpace CEO and President Mike Smith recognized Borror was looking to do something innovative in their buildings, so he enlisted American Tower, a leading provider of in-building wireless infrastructure solutions in enterprise markets, to help.
“For every new installation, our focus in the design phase is to ensure the network is 5G ready, regardless of whether we’re building a Wi-Fi solution, supporting an Internet of Things (IoT) application, or delivering high-quality voice and LTE services”
“I brought everyone to the table and we started talking,” Smith said. “Borror was already looking at a bulk provider solution, but for Wi-Fi only. American Tower said, ‘We can deliver a 5G-ready wireless solution within the building.’”
The American Tower solution enabled WhiteSpace to achieve Borror’s vision of connecting devices, like locks and thermostats, while establishing a foundation for future applications— something a traditional provider would not have been able to do as easily. Smith felt this was a factor in convincing Borror to work with American Tower.
“Borror really embraced what we brought them,” Smith said. “We would say, ‘Listen, everyone in Columbus is doing it a certain way. However, we see what they’re doing in New York and California. We see it because of our roles as advisors or consultants across the country.’ And, they embraced trying some things that were not market ready in Columbus.”
Borror’s willingness to be open to WhiteSpace’s ideas allowed American Tower to not only equip the buildings with high-speed wireless connectivity but also ensure the network will accommodate emerging technologies, such as Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) when the private spectrum becomes available. The buildings use technology that can be upgraded seamlessly to CBRS at any time, further enhancing wireless connectivity at a lower cost.
“For every new installation, our focus in the design phase is to ensure the network is 5G ready, regardless of whether we’re building a Wi-Fi solution, supporting an Internet of Things (IoT) application, or delivering high-quality voice and LTE services,” said Lisa Lombino, American Tower Vice President of Network Engineering.
An American Tower future-proof strategy has aligned well with Borror’s vision of staying current on the latest technological trends to best serve its residents’ connectivity demands. According to Steiner, Borror intends to integrate additional smart applications into the company’s apartment buildings, whether incorporating Bluetooth into its keyless locks or offering 5G service to its residents.
“Our long-term goal is to always be on top of security and technology,” Steiner said. “These are two of our big differentiators as a company. We want to ensure our buildings are secure and stay on top of what’s offered in technology. If you can have it in your home, we’d like to offer it in your apartment. We want you to feel like this is your home.”
Another of Borror’s initiatives is emphasizing high-quality Wi-Fi service, rather than cable. According to Steiner, the company has found residents are more curious of how much Wi-Fi access costs without cable service. “From our perspective, we decided to offer Wi-Fi, versus a cable-based solution from another provider, as high-speed Wi-Fi is what is most important to everyone,” she explains. “That means we can offer this incredible service for a great price.”