FORUM: WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY CREATING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY
Real Estate Weekly
March 5, 2003
The rapid emergence of wireless technology is creating new opportunities for the real estate community, according to Anthony Townsend, founder and president of Cloud Networks, co-founder of NYCwireless.net and the featured speaker at a recent Real Estate Technology Forum Meeting.
"Wireless networks are becoming increasingly pervasive in today's society," said Townsend, an internationally-recognized expert on the use of wireless communications in architecture, urban planning, and real estate development. "This transition from a wired to a wireless world is creating many new opportunities for the real estate community."
Speaking to a group of top real estate and technology professionals at the forum held at the offices of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, Townsend noted that wireless technology, also know as Wi Fi or 802.11 b, 802.11a and 802.11g, which allows users to connect to the Internet without being tethered to a wired access point, is growing in
use at coffee shops, hotels, airports and even delis. He said that the technology has the strong potential to expand in use in commercial and residential buildings, public spaces, educational institutions, shopping centers, retail locations and resorts, among other properties, because of the advantages it offers.
"For the individual users, wireless technology offers enormous
convenience, enabling them to work or communicate from multiple locations inside or outside the home or office," he continued. "For businesses, wireless technology can provide a cost-saving investment as well as make workers and the physical workplace more productive. And for property owners, wireless technology can have a positive impact on how buildings are configured and also provide a relatively inexpensive amenity to help improve property value."
In terms of cost, he pointed out that Bryant Park for example, spent less on installing and maintaining its wireless network last year than it spent on trash bags.
Jonathan Rudes, co-chair of the Real Estate Technology Forum and senior vice president at Winoker Realty said: "Particularly at a time when property owners are looking for ways to help their landlords market their buildings in a challenging economic environment, wireless technology could provide a relatively easy and inexpensive component of a strategy that differentiates our landlords' buildings from the competition. We intend to fully explore cooperative marketing opportunities between Winoker Realty and Cloud Networks."
Townsend also addressed some of the common obstacles to wireless network deployment and acknowledged that the technology is still being perfected, particularly in areas such as security.