Truck rolls are the bane of the home systems business. They can be a huge time suck, require extra manpower, and chip away at profits. Most clients don’t care for them either. System reliability, therefore, is the name of the game when it comes to making your business churn and your customers happy.
Integrators have implemented a host of proven, well-established strategies to ensure the utmost reliability of their installed systems. Yet, snafus still happen. Systems fall offline. Connectivity falters. Wi-Fi doesn’t always work as expected.
As the number of Wi-Fi-enabled devices inside homes and IoT devices outside homes continues to climb, Wi-Fi networks can’t help but struggle. Sure, there are ways to boost bandwidth with extra access points and repeaters, but there is another solution worth considering: cellular technology.
Your customers already rely on cellular connections to make and take phone calls, exchange text messages, download videos, and scour social media. Combined with continual advances in data throughput, cellular has become a viable adjunct connectivity method for smart home applications. Manufacturers of smart home devices have already begun to adopt a hybrid approach with solutions that support connectivity via Wi-Fi and cellular signals. Especially for security systems and other life and home safety products, having a reliable “back-up” connection through cellular is imperative.
Optimizing Cell Signals in the Home
There’s just one hitch: Like Wi-Fi, cellular signals often fall short when it comes to maintaining strength and coverage inside a home. The mere construction materials of a home — concrete, metal sheeting, and low-E windows in particular — can impede cellular reception. This can render the signal weak or non-existent in certain areas of a home, making it difficult to not only talk and text but also monitor and control smart home equipment. Although 5G promises great things in terms of data throughput, it still won’t cut through the obstacles that already hinder cell service inside the home.
Thankfully, a cellular booster can resolve connectivity issues, as well as any communications snags households encounter with their smartphones. Consumers need boosters now to get the bars they need to talk and text via cell; they also need those bars to monitor surveillance cameras, control electronic door locks, receive and respond to notifications from their alarm system, and more. A strong cellular signal also enables devices inside smart homes to reliably connect with IoT devices outside the home, like cloud-based servers. This is important as the cloud continues to gain acceptance as a safe, secure, and simple way to route software updates, facilitate remote monitoring, and store and provide access to images captured by security cameras, for example.
One Truck Roll
The installation of a cell booster is simple and straightforward. So easy, in fact, that many homeowners elect to handle setup themselves. As with any home technology, however, there is a sizable customer base who’d rather leave configuration and installation to a professional. Here’s where systems integrators stand to benefit.
Cell booster installation is typically a quick, one-person job requiring few tools or training. In a couple of hours, a systems integrator can conduct a site survey, mount and aim an outdoor antenna at the nearest cell tower, route coaxial cabling from the antenna to a booster that amplifies the signal, and to a distribution antenna that spreads the enhanced signal throughout the home. Pre-configured kits that include all the necessary components, like those from Uniden Cellular, streamline the installation. You won’t need to buy anything else or piecemeal parts together. It’s all there, appropriately sized, and configured for the application. In addition to getting in and out of a home quickly, the entire process is completely transparent to the customer — no controls to master or adjustment period to get help them get through — the only change they will notice is a full set of bars on their smartphones in every area of the home, crystal-clear conversations, and quick, reliable, consistent connections.
Quality Assurance for Hassle-Free Operation
From there, the cell booster system is virtually trouble-free. The Uniden Cellular systems work on all 3G and 4G networks from all cellular service providers. The only maintenance requiring a truck roll happens in the unlikely event of a cell provider reorienting its tower or should a customer add a new reception-challenged wing to their house. There are also RMR opportunities. You can offer customers cloud-based remote monitoring service for priceless peace of mind. Should a problem arise, you can remedy it on the fly via a mobile device — removing a truck roll from the equation.
You can also capitalize on Uniden Cellular’s line of cell boosters designed specifically for vehicles. These products are a boon to customers who travel to destinations where cell service is questionable. With an in-vehicle kit, they can still use their smartphones to connect to and monitor smart devices in their home. Ditto for your own team of technicians in the field. Also, worth noting — cellular is the only way currently to connect to Alexa voice assistants built into cars.
Versatile Purchasing Options
Shipping and stocking arrangements are always a concern. Uniden Cellular relieves some of the uncertainty by offering flexible purchasing plans. Systems integrators can order and have drop-shipped cell booster kits directly from the company; purchase from an authorized reseller, some of which can handle the installation; or become a certified Uniden Cellular partner that stocks and installs systems as part of the company’s nationwide OnTech Smart Services program.
By focusing on the evolving needs of smart home users and applying technological innovation to stay on pace, manufacturers of cellular boosters offer systems integrators one more way to diversity, differentiate and expand their business.
For information on how to join Uniden’s OnTech Smart Services team, learn more about its products, or purchase cell booster kits directly from the company, visit unidencellular.com