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HomeMagFall 2019The Future of Connectivity in Smart Buildings - SureCall

The Future of Connectivity in Smart Buildings – SureCall


Humans are a resourceful species. When our ancestors discovered fire, we used it to cook our food. Agriculture morphed our tribes into civilizations, allowing us to do more with hyper-efficient technology. Smart cities, consisting of a network of smart buildings, homes, and other infrastructure all connected to a centralized AI, may well be that next step in transforming our cities from inefficient siloed buildings towards a more sustainable organism that can drive efficiency at all scales large and small.

One need not look very far to see the canaries in the coal mine—Google has been pushing hard in the Internet of Things (IoT) space across both the micro and macro landscape. Home products such as Nest thermostats and Philips light bulbs have already crept into our residential properties while big bet projects like 5G infrastructure or Google’s smart cities are either live or in the works. With big players throwing their weight around in the IoT space, it’s clearly more than just about learning to live sustainably on planet Earth—there is a good deal of profit to be shared here by everyone.

Commercial buildings in particular have an opportunity to save on both long-term and short-term costs. According to a recent report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), buildings that opt for fully integrated systems such as lighting, heating and cooling, smart power plugs, and windows can expect to reap 30-50% in energy cost savings. Furthermore, Intel blogs that with IoT technology becoming increasingly commonplace, the price tag of upgrading a 100,000 sq ft building to sport smart capabilities has dropped from the $250,000 to $700,000 range to less than $50,000. With IoT in the residential home spearheading the industry, commercial property managers will only become increasingly keen on office buildings with smart integrated systems as employees expect similar features in the workplace as they have at home.


People are also more engaged with their devices than ever before. An annual research study by signal booster manufacturer and innovation leader SureCall shows that this year people are 17% more likely than last year to factor poor cell signals into their decision to buy/rent a home/apartment, at a rate of 58%.

It’s not hard to understand why we have combined the words “smart” and “phone” into one. Our smartphones turn the world into our backyard. They give us the power of teleportation, flight, memory, imagination, time travel, and more, all in one convenient package.

With both the IoT and smartphone industries rising above the pack at breakneck speed while occupying neighboring niches in our everyday lives, a big challenge for both industries in the next few years will be to reconcile these technologies in a way that is convenient and nonrestrictive.


One immediate impediment to a successful smart building implementation already exists today—cellular signal interference. This is where your data plan’s cellular signals, whose frequencies neighbor Wi-Fi signals, are greatly weakened during their journey from the cell tower to your phone by obstacles such as weather, terrain, and especially building walls. We’ve all experienced the side effects before where our phone bars drop down to one or zero in an underground garage, leaving us isolated and unable to make/hold calls and text, much less browse the internet.

While this is critical today in high-impact arenas such as hospitals, it also carries weight in other applications thanks to our reliance on our smartphones. Whatever the next wave of IoT tech looks like, we can be certain that it will involve controlling your systems through your phone app, regardless of whether IoT signals stay on the convenient wifi bands, switch to cellular, or even use their own Z-wave/Zigbee protocol. With the cost of upgrading cable infrastructure in large buildings being what it is, companies will naturally be looking for a logical and reliable solution to minimize wireless signal interference inside buildings in order to ensure connectivity between their systems as well as their tenants.

Furthermore, with the onset of 5G technology in the next few years, an exclusive bandwidth that has even more difficulty penetrating through walls and other obstacles, this need will only become more pronounced as bigger and sturdier office buildings are built to conserve space.


Signal Boosters, also known as passive DAS systems, are a pragmatic solution that is already being used today in homes, cars, and larger buildings. Using only a power source, a booster system amplifies the cellular signal throughout the building 24/7, especially in “dead zones” where thick walls turn cell phones into bricks. Furthermore, signal boosters are able to enhance the signals for all major cellular carriers simultaneously and are more cost-effective than Active DAS alternatives, including those designed for First Responder bands, which are required in all new commercial buildings to ensure communication is possible in an emergency. If signal boosters seem well-suited for the task of eliminating weak signal areas in a building, it is probably because they were designed over the past few decades precisely for that common occurrence.

Having been in the telecom industry for 20 years as a signal booster manufacturer, SureCall specializes in helping people maintain a fast and reliable connection through their cellular devices (such as phones and hotspots) whether at home, in the car, or in the workplace. SureCall’s boosters are engineered from years of patented tech development and built from only high-quality materials, ensuring the best-performing solutions for everyday users, organizations, and businesses like NASA and Chrysler to solve their indoor cellular signal issues. To learn more about us, visit our website at or contact us via e-mail at or call (888) 365-6283.

Works Cited:

-“How Smart Building Technology Is Shaping the Future of Commercial Real Estate.” Latest News,

-Contreras, Samuel. “Here’s Every U.S. City with 5G Coverage Right Now.” Android Central, Android Central, 2 Aug. 2019,

-Dyton, Joe. “Google Gets ‘Smart’ in Toronto.” Connected REM, 18 July 2019,

-King, Jennifer, and Christopher Perry. “Smart Buildings: Using Smart Technology to Save Energy in Existing Buildings.” American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Feb. 2017,

-Rawal, Gunjan. “Costs, Savings, and ROI for Smart Building Implementation.” IoT@Intel, 21 June 2018, roi-smart-building-implementation/#gs.ufqdgo.

-Warren, Thomas. “What’s Blocking My Cell Phone Signal?”, 21 Mar. 2019,

-Warren, Thomas. “SureCall Case Study: Kaiser Permanente.”, 7 Nov. 2017,

Lamkin@paullamkin, Paul. “Z-Wave Explained: What Is Z-Wave and Why Is It Important for Your Smart Home?” The Ambient, 5 June 2019,

-Zhan, Hongtao. “5G Will Hit A Wall, Literally, In 2019.” IT Infrastructure Advice, Discussion, Community – Network Computing, 15 Feb. 2019,

-Warren, Thomas. “NFPA Compliant Signal Booster Improves First Responder Radio Service.”, 25 Mar. 2019,

-SureCall. “NASA Improves Weak Cell Signals with SureCall Force5.”, 28 Jan. 2019, with-weak-cell-signal-at-nasa-facilities/.

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