Can You Hear Me Now

January 2017

Telephone technology is struggling to keep up with high-rise condo buildings.

Lost connections are common with cell phones. Problems arise when the cell phone is your only telephone and it does not work in your home.

Increasingly, this is the new normal for many in high-rise condo buildings.

As condo buildings continue to grow in height cell phone reception can disappear. Thick concrete walls, steel floors and coated windows are part of the problem. Another complication is that many condo suites are now situated above cell tower antennas.

There are solutions. One option is to install an in-building wireless network to increase coverage within the building. This requires small antennas to be placed in locations on each floor to distribute the signal, eliminate dropped calls and facilitate Internet usage. This technology is comparable to what is used in hotels and stadiums. While not envisioned for condo buildings until recently, it can be effective.

The technology is now being considered for new condo building construction. Retrofitting older buildings lacking this technology can be an expensive undertaking.

Cell phone coverage is viewed by residents as a necessity. It may, at some point, be viewed as an amenity not available in all condo building suites. Lack of strong cell reception may be reason to avoid living in certain condo buildings or parts of a building.

Cell phones have become a part of how most people now live. Residing in a place where cell phones do not work is no longer practical.