Nowadays, having a fast and reliable internet connection in construction sites has become the norm. In this read, we are going to look at why this is standard practice and the benefits wireless connectivity has to offer in this industry.
As with every other form of business, construction companies now have digital operations that depend on connectivity for regular communication and coordination. Unlike office-based operations, construction firms can’t depend on existing information technology and network infrastructure when it comes to a new project. That’s because making a new internet link to a location with a wired leased line connection calls for trench digging in order to lay the cable. This adds both the time and resources needed to complete the project. However, if you are on a site that grows over time, like a big housing development, you need to keep digging new channels to lay new cables in order to extend access.
For construction companies that boast agility and efficiency, waiting for wired internet to be installed before they can embark on their project does not seem feasible.
What is the Difference Between Wifi and Wireless?
Before we proceed, it is imperative to differentiate between wireless and WiFi. Although WiFi routers provide excellent access to the internet, allowing workers on-site to use their smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., as they move around. These routers have to be connected to wired lines that deliver the broadband service to the location. With wireless leased lines, however, the internet is delivered using microwave and radio technology, and that’s how we get 3G, 4G and 5G mobile data services on smartphones.
Why Do Construction Sites Require Internet Connectivity?
As mentioned earlier, reliable internet connectivity has become standard practice on construction sites as construction companies and contractors are increasingly turning to digital devices and applications that require connection to the web. A few examples include:
Over the past decade, smartphones and tablets have changed how mobile teams such as construction workers keep in touch with contractors, colleagues back in the main office, development partners as well as clients.
They allow people to make calls, use IM platforms to make conversations, answer emails and share media, all as they work. However, doing all this over WiFi is way more cost-effective compared to using mobile data. In addition, Voice-over-WiFi phone services are free. This means that for the cost of one internet connection on-site, the whole workforce can make unlimited calls for no extra charges. I would highly recommend that you see ‘managed Wi-Fi‘.
Construction firms and contractors have long used laptops and desktops to run CAD software to develop and share engineering and architectural designs on site. Back in the day, these programs were stored on individual machines, meaning the contractors and workers would have to go to the main office or have a laptop delivered on-site in order to see the plans.
Thanks to cloud-based computing for CAD software, everyone involved can have access to the plans from any device and from everywhere. This allows for more flexibility, meaning updates to designs and instructions can be shared instantly with everyone involved. Also, contractors can refer back to them on-site as they go on with work. Cloud services require internet access and so, it is easy to see how wireless connectivity can be beneficial in this regard.
Instead of having security experts on-site, constantly watching video feeds from the security cameras, IP CCTV solutions allow sharing the media using the internet either to the contractor or the security team in head office. This drastically reduces the cost of monitoring. WiFi-operated access systems, are an example of other security features that depend on internet connection.
These 3 benefits are solid reasons that prompt every construction company to use wireless internet connectivity on-site.