Ensuring connection strength
The value proposition of using a wireless carrier and M2M technology for outdoor digital signage is primarily a matter of high security, network reliability and data accessibility. A digital sign with an embedded 3G- or 4G-compatible router can be installed virtually anywhere an electrical connection is available.
Also, given most outdoor digital sign networks target highly populated city centres, the carriers’ signal strength is not typically a major problem. In zones where the chosen carrier’s data signal is weak, various antennas are available that can significantly improve signal gain.
Digital signage operators are sometimes surprised at the high level of personal support they can receive from a telecom carrier. In some cases, the installation of a new mini base station in the area can be a strategic, cost-justified move for the carrier, as it can help ensure many more connections for both consumers and commercial clients.
There can be some security risks with 3G and 4G wireless data connections, but the carriers general offer options to remedy these issues. More significantly, even the most secure network available can face strong risks if ‘freeware’ and/or unsecure operation system (OS) platforms are introduced to deliver digital signage content.
A bright future for bright screens
For all of these reasons, the future looks very promising for outdoor digital signage. The promise of mass adoption is enabling the emergence of a similar value proposition to that of indoor digital signage.
The key is to develop a scalable deployment strategy and choose the right partners to follow through on that plan. It is becoming all the more feasible for outdoor digital signage networks to deliver a return on the higher rate of capital invested in them.
Bruno Pupo is vice-president (VP) of global sales and marketing for Toronto-based Vertigo Digital Displays, whichdesigns, engineers, manufactures and integrates outdoor digital signs. For more information, contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.