Airport Business

MAY 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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TECHNOLOGY incorporate more advanced IoT devices, but don't want to get involved to the point of having to staff an entire IT department of RF experts who can manage the wireless in-house; the "set it and forget it" approach is usually more attractive. Additionally, an airport may not want to buy the infrastructure outright, which involves a lot of capital outlay. Now, with a CaaS option, improved connectivity becomes an operational expense – just like paying the utility bills every month – removing the concerns about high upfront costs, as well as recurring downstream costs. In the CaaS model, the solution is offered on a monthly, per-square-foot basis and includes deployment and ongoing system monitoring and maintenance. Any new frequency or operator additions on the system or additional coverage areas would not require the airport to make additional capital outlays; they would be covered as part of the service. This means an airport can depend on a reliable third party to manage the in-building wireless. The system is supported by industry-accepted service-level agreements as part of the ongoing monitoring of the solution, ensuring an expected level of service every day, much like paying a utility bill creates the expectation that the lights always turn on. This alternative business model will allow airports to check every box on their in-building wireless system wish list, getting a true IoT-ready system by paying for it with an operational expenditure (Opex) model, not a capital expenditure (Capex) model. PREPPING FOR THE FUTURE According to GE, "Among airlines that have started experimenting with IoT, there are projects to improve passenger experience, baggage handling, tracking pets in transit, equipment monitoring, and generating fuel efficiencies. However, in an industry still struggling with integration across legacy systems [CIOs] face challenges in getting the underlying architecture right as well as addressing security issues." While adding IoT capabilities to airports has the potential to transform the sector, IoT needs a strong backbone: a robust, reliable in-building network that can take on not just the challenges of IoT, but also anything the future may hold. A DAS that can meet an airport's needs must be future-ready – but with the issue of cost constantly looming overhead, an airport may feel it is not able to invest in the DAS of its choice. Now, with CaaS offering a new business model – paying for an in-building wireless system as a utility – airports have a broader range of options, allowing operations managers to make decisions today that prepare them for the future, and giving leadership confidence that the choice they make today will still be the right choice down the road. Any airport that wants to get serious about incorporating IoT into its current and future offerings will need a powerful in-building wireless network that works both now and in the future. Zinwave ABOUT THE AUTHOR Scott Willis Scott Willis is president and CEO of Zinwave. Willis can be reached at 22 airportbusiness May 2018

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