What are Homeowners Gravitating Toward? A Necessary Glance at MDUs' Needs for Modernized Support

By Alex Passett October 02, 2023

Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel like I learn new industry-specific acronyms nearly every day. For example, today’s involves multi-dwelling units, or MDUs. Examples of MDUs are really commonplace; apartment buildings, duplexes, mixed-use properties, high-rises, small condos, and even select office blocks, retirement facilities, etc. It’s pretty broad, as I’ve since learned.

So, here’s a thought:

With modernized MDUs for individuals, partners, families and others come a wave of connectivity needs to sustain said modernized living.

(Pretty simple.)

Parks Associates think so, too.

Last week, we ran a story about a recent Parks Associates study concerning the rising interests in smart video doorbell installations.

Now, Parks Associates has released a new white paper – sponsored by Plume – and it’s titled “Managed Wi-Fi in Multifamily Housing: Key Use Cases and Considerations.” In it, Parks Associates highlights practical use cases for technologies in many MDUs; with its data come ways businesses can automate processes for homeowners, save on costs, and more.

From the 300 U.S. MDU property managers and owners surveyed, the following are the top takeaways:

  • 87% of U.S. internet households subscribe to at least 1-3 streaming services, 71% play video games on a weekly basis, and 30% work remotely at least once per week. All of these factors play their role when it comes to reliably connectivity, bulk packages, etc.
  • 89% of property managers who won’t currently offer bulk internet reported that they plan to do so within the next 12 months. (However, only 43% of residents in spaces with bulk internet claim it’s been as reliable as they’d hoped.)
  • 45% of surveyees have reported facing myriad technical challenges in order to keep MDUs up with modernization, “including getting networking equipment working with select services and carriers, connecting devices successfully, and setting up services for new residents.” (i.e. likely ones with specific expectations about connectivity for their unique needs)

From its research, Parks Associates believes that managed Wi-Fi “presents a solution to these challenges, offering improved performance and management features, as well as advanced cybersecurity” (when compared to legacy deployments, that is).

According to Parks Associates, that’s the direction the market is moving in – a future of smart apartment rollouts and smart-enhanced building management solutions. (The white paper also addresses challenges central to data traffic, user authentication, the need for enhanced privacy measures, time-of-use considerations, and more.)

"As new use cases evolve, multifamily properties will increasingly need to invest in their network architecture and ensure that their network backbones are robust and flexible enough to meet future demand," concluded Kristen Hanich, Research Director, Parks Associates. "Parks Associates research shows that families are adding more IoT devices to their networks, and with only 43% of residents interviewed being satisfied with their current bulk service, CSPs, and building owners can turn to managed Wi-Fi services to improve in-home experiences and increase customer satisfaction."

"The growing MDU market – including apartments, multifamily, and other high-density living spaces – presents service providers with an incredible opportunity to access new revenue streams, yet property management companies often struggle with inefficient infrastructure and fragmented solutions that lead to poor Internet performance and outdated tenant experiences," said Tony Liebel, Uprise Product Suite Manager of Plume. "Providers must turn to intelligent platforms to manage the load, congestion, and interference problems that are often exacerbated in these spaces, and transform the connected experience for tenants."

Read more here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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