3 Savvy Ways to Spend End-of-Year Technology Budget

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, December 1, 2016

As the end of the year approaches, how you spend your technology budget can impact not only your current communications operations, it can affect how much money is allocated to you next year. If you don’t use all of that money wisely this year, you likely won’t get an increase – or even as much – next year.

To preserve your technology budget and your ability to serve your organization, you need to make investments that show you’ve improved communications and overall efficiency. Fortunately, there are some great solutions available that serve a variety of wireless communications needs. 

Here are three savvy ways to spend your end-of-year technology budget. 

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Tags: Technology, Digital Two-Way Radios, Wireless Networking, Push to Talk

Anatomy of a Great Healthcare Communications System

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, November 21, 2016

A great healthcare communications system can act as the hidden hero in staff, patient and visitor safety, security and privacy. A great system not only delivers instant, reliable communication, it’s tailored to the unique needs of the healthcare environment.

That’s why digital two-way radios and applications, as well as a strong wireless network, are must-haves for healthcare facilities and campuses. Two-way radio solutions are less expensive and more cost-effective than cell phones, and they can be scaled from the simple to the robust depending on what features and functionality are enabled. A strong wireless network will provide the backbone for all of your communications.

Healthcare-specific solutions will also offer HIPAA-compliant encryption capabilities for all communications. With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the anatomy of a great healthcare communications system.

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Tags: Healthcare, Bi-Directional Amplifier, Digital Two-Way Radios, Wireless Networking

Fixed Wireless Broadband Networks: A New Apartment Complex Solution

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, October 20, 2016

AT&T recently launched a first-of-its-kind trial program that uses fixed wireless broadband networks and millimeter wave technology to bring high-speed internet, cable and wireless services to a set of apartment complexes in Minneapolis.

The trial uses point-to-point millimeter wave wireless technology and a combination of wireless signals and in-building wiring to deliver an “ultra-fast” 100 megabits-per-second connection that is accessible to each apartment unit in the complexes, according to AT&T.

Residents in the trial program also have access to cable television through DIRECTV Advantage -- without having to install satellite dishes on their balconies. DIRECTV Advantage uses a single satellite dish on one building to send a video signal to a central distribution system for the entire property.

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Tags: Wireless Networking

5 Core Wireless Communication Solutions: With Video

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

As wireless communication solutions are constantly evolving, it’s a challenge to keep up with the latest and greatest devices and functionality. While it would be impossible to keep up with every update or product that’s made available, it is worthwhile to conduct an occasional appraisal of your existing systems -- and your current challenges -- to see if a boost, replacement or new investment makes sense. 

To help with your once-over of your equipment, systems and challenges, here are five core wireless communication solutions to keep in mind that you may need to deploy, upgrade or replace. (Bonus: Check out our latest video, below, to find out how Chicago Communications helps companies and agencies meet their comprehensive communications needs.)
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Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Bi-Directional Amplifier, Maintenance/Installation/Service, Wireless Networking

Hotel Wireless More Important Than Breakfast And Parking, Says Survey

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

If you’re looking to woo more guests to your property – and who isn’t? – a new survey suggests that stepping up your hotel wireless should be a candidate for the top of your to-do list: The Red Roof Inn survey says free and fast hotel wireless is more important to travelers than parking, complimentary breakfast or even location.

The survey of 800 economy and mid-tier travelers nationwide was conducted in late May 2016 by Research+Data Insights and commissioned by economy lodging leader Red Roof Inn. Respondents ranked free WiFi a close second only to cost as their top consideration when booking a hotel stay.
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Tags: Hospitality, Wireless Networking

Building Condition Assessment: Is Your New Facility Communications - Ready?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

If you're purchasing a new facility and about to do a building condition assessment, you're probably expecting that assessment to cover the facility’s structural and maintenance bases, but what about communications readiness? To make sure your assessment is painting as comprehensive a picture as possible, and to position you to meet your needs now and into the future, there are some key communications considerations to keep in mind.

Your users will be expecting instant and reliable connectivity from day one, whether they’re relying on wireless communications, cell phones or two-way radios. As you’re considering a property for your business, you’ll need a realistic assessment of whether it’ll support your communications needs or will require some help in the form of bi-directional amplifiers or other enhancements.

Here are some questions to keep in mind as you’re carrying out your assessment:

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Bi-Directional Amplifier, Wireless Networking, Facilities Management

Using Analytical Tools for Facility Managers to Improve Communications

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, July 11, 2016

Analytical tools offer a variety of mechanisms for facility managers to improve communications systems, from on-site wireless to mobile communications. Reliable WiFi and dependable devices are business necessities that your internal customers and end users likely don’t think that much about – and you can keep it that way by heading off problems before they start and anticipating their needs.

Analytical tools for facility managers aren’t just about keeping the assets you can see running smoothly, you can also put data to work for you to boost unseen communications channels.

Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities for using analytic tools for facilities managers to improve communications.

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Tags: Bi-Directional Amplifier, Wireless Networking, Facilities Management

School WiFi Quality and Funding Enhanced by E-Rate Program

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, June 20, 2016

In finding the perfect school WiFi and radio solution, schools face many challenges, including funding -- a situation that’s at the heart of the federal E-Rate program to make telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries.

E-Rate, the government’s largest educational technology program, was first mandated by Congress in 1996 and implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1997. Starting in 2014, the FCC launched two major modernization efforts to reallocate funding where it’s needed most to close the WiFi gap, particularly low-income rural and urban schools and libraries. The modernization also shifted money away from voice, paging and non-broadband legacy systems. 

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Tags: Education, Wireless Networking

Brisbane Hotel Wifi Revolutionizes Guest Telephony

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Designer Alex Perry is one of the biggest names in Australian fashion, so you can imagine that the luxury Brisbane apartments and hotel that ems_hospitality_img_0098_mtrbo-resized-600.jpgbear his name are works of art with an impeccable attention to detail, from the architecture all the way to the revolutionary hotel wi-fi solution.

“I’m fashioning apartment accommodation like I would a couture garment,” Perry says.

The hotel’s Ruckus Wireless system includes 140 wireless telephones across 12 floors that use the Ruckus R600 indoor 802.11ac wave 2 access points. This solution delivers both the guest Wi-Fi network and commercial grade telephony, as well as coverage for staff operations.

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Hospitality, Wireless Networking

How Hotel Wireless Is Changing to Include Room Keys And More

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A recent Cornell University survey has confirmed what you probably already know about your ever-more-connected customers: Hotel guests want to use their mobile devices in more ways than are currently available, so the demands on hotel wireless are greater than ever.

The survey, which is detailed in a report aptly named “The Mobile Revolution Is Here: Are You Ready?”, was conducted by the School of Hotel Administration’s Center for Hospitality Research. Researchers asked more than 750 smartphone owners about how they currently use their mobile devices when they travel and how they would use them if they had the choice.

Guests of all ages said they want to use their devices for almost everything you can imagine, from checking in to ordering room service. Some of the world’s largest hotel chains are already responding with wireless transformations.

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Tags: Wireless Communication, Hospitality, Wireless Networking