The Ultimate Guest Retention: Seamless Cellular Drives Unforgettable Experiences 

The success of the hospitality industry hinges on providing the most optimal guest experience, and this means remaining competitive by providing new and innovative guest experiences. To truly stand out, hotels must go beyond the ordinary and create memorable experiences that guests will cherish and share. The industry continues to rebound while relying on technology as the foundation for many enticing and interactive guest services. According to, the U.S. hospitality industry is expected to spend an estimated $60 billion (about $180 per person in the US) on technology in 2024, driven by automation and innovation around improving the overall guest experience and improving occupancy.  

Hotels must continuously innovate and evolve to meet and exceed guest expectations, and technology is playing a significant role in elevating the hotel guest experience. Technology, including cellular, IoT, AI, and data analytics, is revolutionizing the hospitality industry, significantly enhancing the hotel guest experience through interactive services and personalization. Continuous connectivity is expected both inside and outside the hotel and serves as a foundational tool for many of these evolving services. In addition, the guest and interactive services riding on top of the network, along with hotel operations require a reliable and proven cellular network.  

It is paramount that today’s hotel owners and leaders not only build their knowledge base of key trends and innovations occurring in the hospitality industry, but to also understand what is driving these key trends. These core trends below are pushing hoteliers and property managers to new heights by focusing on what is core to the business; retention, loyalty, and satisfying guest experiences. 

Below are some of the key trends we will explore: 

  • Personalization 
  • Tech Integration 
  • Human Touch 
  • Guest Loyalty 
  • Memorable Experience 

Personalization: Crafting Unique Guest Journeys 

Personalization is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Modern travelers expect tailored experiences that cater to their individual preferences and needs, and customized experiences are a growing trend. Hotels use data analytics to gain insights into guest behavior and preferences and track past and future guests in new and meaningful ways. By using customer relationship management (CRM) systems that have added layers of guest data intelligence, hotels are creating personalized experiences, such as customized welcome messages, room preferences, and personalized recommendations for local activities and dining options. 

Technology Integration: Seamless and Efficient Services 

The integration of advanced technology can significantly enhance the guest experience by providing convenience and efficiency. Hotel mobile applications, intelligent building solutions, and streamlined connectivity for interactive guest services are at the forefront for enhancing the guest experience. A comprehensive mobile app allows guests to manage their reservations, check-in and check-out, access room keys, and more. Intelligent buildings provide smart rooms for guest stays by monitoring energy usage and tracking hotel resources in real-time. Implementing IoT (Internet of Things) devices in rooms enables guests to control lighting, temperature, and entertainment systems with voice commands or through mobile apps. All these emerging guest services rely heavily on trusted and proven connectivity. 

Exceptional Customer Service: The Human Touch 

While technology plays a crucial role, the human touch remains irreplaceable. Exceptional customer service is the cornerstone of a memorable guest experience, and supporting a skilled workforce that has available tools and training to support guests with high quality customer care is paramount. Hotels invest in continuous training programs for their staff to ensure they are skilled in communication, problem-solving, and predicting guest needs. Empowering employees to make decisions and resolve issues promptly can turn potential negative experiences into positive ones. Technology can also support employee access, training, tools, and communications. In addition, guests enjoy friendly hotel staff and engaging services that meet their needs efficiently and promptly. Knowledgeable staff can turn a mishap or problem into a satisfactory guest experience. 

Guest Loyalty: Building Long-Term Relationships 

Loyalty programs are a powerful tool for building long-term relationships with guests. Modernizing these programs to offer more personalized rewards, such as exclusive experiences, early check-ins, and room upgrades, can significantly increase guest satisfaction and loyalty. Hotels are also becoming proactive by pushing offers, incentives, and communications directly to their guests’ phones, email, and apps. Incorporating gamification elements, such as challenges and point systems, can also make loyalty programs more engaging and rewarding.  

Creating Memorable Experiences: Beyond the Ordinary 

To compete in this experience-driven environment, hotels must explore new avenues to create unforgettable experiences that guests will love. This could involve offering unique local experiences, such as guided tours, cultural workshops, or exclusive access to local events. Collaborating with local businesses to provide authentic experiences can also enhance the hotel’s value proposition and create lasting memories for guests. 

Enhancing the Mobile Guest 

The mobile guest is intelligent, does their research, and has clear preferences as to how they review, research, and select hotels. Many are also loyal to specific brands, but most will be driven around safety, comfort, price, location, and amenities. Hotels thrive on how to best differentiate themselves and to remain relevant to guests, while providing the best guest experience. In addition, hotels track key metrics such as ADR (Average Daily Rates), RevPAR (Revenue per Average Room), occupancy rates, and their own internal revenue numbers to track progress and benchmark. This healthy competition requires the use of technology for differentiation and supporting interactive guest experiences. While traditional hard-wired connectivity and Wi-Fi options have served guests for key services, cellular is evolving as the most innovative and cost-effective connectivity solution for a host of solutions, and 5G is the catalyst.  

Now, let’s dive into key technology trends. 

Mobile Apps and Digital Check-In/Out 

Modern hotel apps enable guests to manage their entire stay from their smartphones. Guests begin this journey well before they arrive at the hotel. Guests will gather driving directions and more before they even arrive at the hotel. Cellular connectivity is a primary tool as the guest travels, finds parking, pays for parking, and checks in. Hotel mobile apps allow guests to check-in and check-out, bypass the front desk and avoid waiting times, access digital room keys, use their phones to unlock their rooms, make reservations and requests, book dining-spa services, and communicate with staff. While Wi-Fi may be available, it is often not as reliable or secure for guests. This also means that hotels and parking garages will need to solidify their cellular connectivity both indoor and near indoor throughout their entire hotel properties. 

Smart Room Technology 

Hotel rooms equipped with connected equipment and intelligent building systems offer personalized control over various aspects of the room environment. Guests can control and customize preferences around lighting, temperature, and entertainment systems using voice commands. In addition, sustainable conscious guests can manage energy usage, HVAC, and lighting controls with smart energy management systems. Hotels are implementing smart energy systems that know the occupancy of a guest or conference room and adjust lighting and temperatures as needed. Other intelligent building solutions may include air monitoring, UV filtration and cleaning, heated floors, smart access and surveillance, and more. Outside of smartphones connecting to the cellular network, these hotel assets are connecting to the cellular network for real-time tracking, monitoring, and securing. In addition, cellular can further build redundancy in assuring building management systems, hotel equipment, and other assets remain connected and intelligence and critical data is being captured. 

Virtualization of the Hotel 

Virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR) are being used to create immersive and engaging experiences. Guests can explore hotel facilities and rooms before booking. AR apps provide interactive maps and guides, enhancing the exploration of hotel premises and surrounding areas. VR can be used to offer unique in-room experiences, such as virtual art displays or interactive storytelling for children. 

Guest Feedback and Data Analytics 

Technology aids in collecting and analyzing guest feedback for continuous improvement. Digital feedback tools allow guests to provide immediate feedback during their stay through real-time surveys. Text is also being used to push information to the guest, gather real-time feedback, and provide links for guest surveys. Artificial intelligence (AI and machine learning) can also support the analysis of online reviews and social media mentions to gauge guest satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. Data analytics predict guest preferences and trends, enabling hotels to tailor their services and marketing strategies. There is a growing trend in researching, capturing, analyzing, and predicting guest data for continuous improvement and feedback for hotel managers and property owners. 

Enhanced In-Room Entertainment 

Modern entertainment systems cater to diverse guest preferences. The integration of popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime in hotel TVs is common. Guests primarily rely on cellular connectivity to review texts and input codes for secure authentication in logging into streaming apps. Guests also want to connect their own devices and content to the room’s entertainment system. Mobile applications, set up, and login make this process easy for the guest and requires good Wi-Fi or trusted cellular connectivity. This reliability on cellular further illustrates the need to strengthen the cellular signal for seamless connectivity inside and outside the building, from parking garages to the pool to the room. 

Integrated Booking and Reservation Systems 

Advanced booking systems simplify the reservation process and enhance convenience. Centralized or a unified hotel and booking platform allows guests to book rooms, dining, spa services, and activities all in one place. An emerging trend is the use of AI for data analytics and intelligence of guest trends and patterns. AI-driven dynamic pricing models offer personalized rates based on demand, loyalty status, and booking patterns. In addition to booking the room, guests are also booking added services including things like pool cabanas, massages/spa services, meeting spaces, etc. Guests will need reliable network connectivity for booking these services wherever they are in the hotel. 

Security and Privacy Enhancements 

Technology enhances guest safety and privacy. Biometrics such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning for secure room access can support more secure access. Advanced surveillance systems are also using AI-powered security to monitor and ensure guest safety. AI can also use computer vision technology to automatically identify key events and alert security or a response. For example, if there is a breach into a back door entry into the hotel, security can be automatically alerted on their smartphone device with location information to quickly respond and prepare for the incident. 

The Foundation of Cellular Connectivity 

Cellular connectivity plays a crucial role in enhancing the hotel guest experience in the U.S. Here are several ways it supports and improves the guest experience: 

  • Seamless Connectivity 
  • Enhanced Mobile Services 
  • Directions and Local Navigation 
  • Meetings and Productivity 
  • Safety and Security 

Seamless Connectivity 

Reliable Communication: Guests rely on cellular networks to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. Strong cellular connectivity ensures they can make calls, send texts, and use data services without interruption. Internet Access: Many travelers use their cellular data plans to access the internet, especially if hotel Wi-Fi is slow or unreliable. Guests may also feel Wi-Fi is not safe or secure, as it is on an open network and open to vulnerabilities and hacking. Public Wi-Fi is known to not be as secure as password protected cellular Wi-Fi. Good cellular coverage ensures that guests can always stay connected online. 

Enhanced Mobile Services 

Reliable cellular connectivity ensures guests can use hotel mobile apps, navigation/direction tools, mobile check in/out services, and even things like setting up an Uber or ordering food by the pool. These services provide added connectivity without the need to rely solely on Wi-Fi. Some hotels also provide digital room keys that guests can access through their smartphones. Stable cellular connectivity ensures these keys work seamlessly, allowing guests to enter their rooms without issues. Lastly, guests can use hotel apps to request services, make reservations, or ask for information. Consistent cellular service ensures these apps work efficiently anywhere on the property. 

Improved Navigation and Local Exploration 

Guests often use GPS and mapping services to explore the local area, find attractions, find parking, or navigate to meetings (inside and outside the hotel or local area). Reliable cellular connectivity ensures accurate location services and navigation. Hotel apps and third-party apps provide local recommendations and reviews, allowing guests to access this information on the go. 

Meetings and Productivity 

Travelers work and play from anywhere these days. Many travelers need to work remotely during their stays, conducting meetings and calls from their smartphone. Reliable cellular connectivity ensures they can access emails, take part in video calls, and complete online tasks efficiently. In addition to guests working, hotel staff use their mobile devices for operations as well, especially when coordinating tasks across large properties. Staff can use mobile devices to receive and update the status of maintenance and housekeeping tasks in real time, ensuring rooms are prepared and issues are addressed promptly. 

Safety and Security 

Reliable cellular connectivity is essential for guests to contact emergency services if needed or call their family and friends. This is particularly important for guests unfamiliar with the local area. In emergencies or for important updates, hotels can quickly communicate with guests via SMS or push notifications, ensuring they receive prompt information regardless of their location within the hotel. 

Analyst Recommendations 

As we evaluate the innovation taking place within the hospitality sector, it is important to follow a few key recommendations to remain relevant and best serve guests in the competitive world of hotels. Compass Intelligence recommendations are centered around infrastructure, technology, and innovating guest services. Whether you are a property manager, a hotel manager, or a resort professional, these recommendations may support you in your overall growth strategy moving forward.  

Below are a few considerations to consider as you build a solid foundation for innovation in hospitality: 

  • Perform a Complete Evaluation of your LAN/WAN (Local Area Network/Wide Area Network) infrastructure and mirror that to core guest services and solutions. Ask: Are we offering seamless, easy, flexible, and secure options for back-office, operations, and guest-facing services? 
  • Identify Connectivity Requirements or Gaps for guest facing solutions, employee/staff applications and solutions, and system or operation-based activities. Ask: Do we have issues in our network that need refining or optimization? 
  • Select and work closely with your Technology Vendor or partner to implement solutions to “close the gaps” around connectivity, infrastructure, and foundational services. Ask: Do we have the right partner or vendor to support us as we modernize and innovate, that also understand our industry and personal priorities? 
  • Track, Monitor and Review after you implement technology services, as solutions and services evolve and guest needs change. Ask: Are you tracking and gathering real-time data or guest feedback? Does your investment tie back to key guest and financial metrics? 

To learn more or if you have questions, please contact Stephanie Atkinson, Compass Intelligence at

Wrap Up 

The leading innovations in hospitality, including automation and smart technologies, require seamless cellular connectivity services. Robust cellular connectivity enhances the overall guest experience by providing uninterrupted communications, supporting mobile services, ensuring safety, enabling efficient operations, and offering personalized engagement. As travelers become increasingly dependent on their mobile devices, the importance of strong cellular connectivity in the hospitality industry will continue to grow. By using these technological advancements, hotels can provide a seamless, personalized, and highly satisfying experience for their guests, setting themselves apart in a competitive industry. Improving the hotel guest experience requires a multifaceted approach that combines personalization, technology integration, exceptional customer service, wellness and sustainability initiatives, enhanced loyalty programs, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By focusing on these strategies, hotels can ensure they not only meet but exceed guest expectations, fostering loyalty and driving long-term success in the competitive hospitality industry. 


Written by Stephanie Atkinson, CEO of Compass Intelligence 

About Compass Intelligence 

Compass Intelligence is a market research and advisory firm specializing in metrics-driven market intelligence and insights for the mobile, IoT, and high-tech industries serving tech clients for more than 18 years. Compass Intelligence offers executive insights, market sizing/forecasting and modeling, competitive analysis, strategic consulting, advisory services, trending analysis, and survey research services. Compass Intelligence helps guide strategic business decisions and supports the success of our clients through delivering content engagement, go to market planning, competitive positioning, and strategic advisory. For more information, please visit

Critical Urban Connectivity, Transforming Cellular Deep Underground 

Urban areas continue to be challenged with congestion of people, structures, and assets. Parking garages need to either be ‘constructed up’ by adding additional floors or built deep underground and under urban structures. The deeper underground facilities are, the harder it is for cellular signals to reach people and places. Critical infrastructure is connected to the cellular network to improve driver and parking experiences. The rise of 5G with towers that broadcast over shorter distances also contributes to increasing cellular coverage gaps and accentuates the interference caused by walls and other barriers. 

City residents, visitors, and workers deserve and expect seamless connectivity experiences from the drive to the walk and upon entering buildings or venues. This requirement is critical for urban structures including high-rise multifamily structures, office buildings, hotels, hospitals, and campuses. 

Millennium Garages and Dense Air Networks joined forces to test modern technology solutions to improve connectivity in one of the four underground parking garages in the heart of Chicago. These parking garages sit underneath the world’s largest green roof that offers 9,176 parking spaces across 4 million square feet. This collaboration includes a focus on targeting hard to reach locations, identifying connectivity gaps, and implementing solutions to enhance smart parking. The target location is a challenging area within the garage: a 200K sq ft area, 2 levels underground in Millennium Garages’ Lakeside facility, under Maggie Daley Park. This test bed uses one set of wireless infrastructure accommodating multiple carriers to provide a secure, flexible, and scalable network to ensure public safety and continuous connectivity underground. 

The overall underground parking environment can present cellular access challenges for many reasons. First, the deeper underground the garage, the more barriers, walls, and structures there are, which degrade cellular signal and can cause a complete signal loss. In addition, garages are constructed of heavy concrete and ready-mix materials that often block signals and present further disruption in connectivity. Highly trafficked urban areas can also present increased data usage that overwhelms the network and causes connectivity issues.  

In the case of Millenium Garages, the location is one of the busiest areas of Chicago. Large seasonal events bring volumes of visitors. The garages are strategically situated along vehicle, pedestrian, and public transportation thoroughfares. They serve as a gateway to Chicago’s world-class cultural institutions, tourist attractions, and central business district.  

Highly populated cities like Chicago focus heavily on innovation and are earlier adopters of digital and connected solutions. Urban structures including standalone parking garages are becoming digital, connected, and intelligent, and Millenium Garages is capturing this trend as it works with Dense Air. Cities like Chicago are also focused on green initiatives and sustainability practices that can bring added complexity as structures require modernization to meet sustainable development goals (SDGs). To progress SDGs, cities need to secure resources including utilities, as energy efficiency and the environment takes priority. Cellular connectivity becomes the fourth utility — alongside water, gas, and electricity — as cities innovate and digitize to create better experiences for locals and tourists alike, enhance city services, and modernize transportation in and out of the city.  

Highly populated and densely structured urban areas often suffer from dead zones, connectivity gaps, and interrupted cell signals. In addition to connectivity, safety and security of people and places is a high priority for owners, leaders, and managers. Connectivity is pivotal for critical communications and for response times as these entities lean on wireless for citizen and worker safety.  

Operations across city services and departments, from parking to transportation to trash pickup, are coordinated, planned, and dispatched using the cellular network. Providing optimal city and workplace services is foundational to the urban city experience. Other examples of buildings and structures that rely on wireless communications include everyday structures frequented for work, play, and living, including condominium and apartment buildings, hospitals, and sporting venues. For example, often just after we park, we are immediately grabbing our smartphone to review emails, to fill out paperwork, locate instructions, find the office number, or exploring where to walk. Having an obstacle for wireless access can frustrate the entire experience. Aging infrastructure and lack of connectivity make these challenges even more difficult to address. 

Dense Air addresses these challenges as a specialist in modernizing urban connectivity. The team works closely with customers to connect underground parking garages, multi-floor buildings, and dense areas throughout cities. Dense Air provides a unique solution for cities, building or structure owners, and facilities managers. We provide turnkey services to identify connectivity gaps, install hardware, implement software, and offer full-service management. This small cell Connectivity-as-a-Service (CaaS) solution removes the burden to city agencies, departments, and businesses.  

Dense Air’s CaaS solution strengthens cities by: 

  • Enabling multiple carriers at the same time, in the same location 
  • Facilitating easy, rapid, and cost-efficient integration into existing buildings 
  • Ensuring security and reliability of the cellular connection 
  • Providing a turnkey service 

Dense Air’s collaboration with Millenium Garages is a notable example of the commitment to supporting urban modernization. The project team will explore a variety of use cases as part of this project to connect customers, workers, and equipment. In addition to bringing two of the big three cellular carriers onto the network, Dense Air will support Millenium Garages in three areas:  

  1. Deploy multi-carrier small cell solutions to provide continuous cellular coverage in challenging underground environments.  
  2. Build the business and civic case for seamless, integrated connectivity. 
  3. Create replicable, scalable models to bring reliable cellular coverage to difficult-to-reach facilities, including CaaS offerings that unlock public and private value.  

Businesses and cities want their infrastructure to do more. Cities require seamless connectivity for emergency response, dispatching prompt maintenance and repairs, routing for a delivery driver, and real-time situational awareness. Dense Air makes this easy by bringing connectivity experts while providing “white glove” turnkey services to lessen the burden. Services include operating, managing, and maintaining connectivity to meet business service level expectations and provide performance reporting with insights into the customer and environment experience. Dense Air is proud to support the modernization of urban areas, changing the paradigm through trusted and secure cellular services. 

Link to Press Release:–millennium-garages-collaborate-to-transform-cellular-connectivity-underground-302141201.html?tc=eml_cleartime

Related Links and Recommendations for More Reading: 

Small Cell Forum Use Case: Dense Air’s pioneering use of Split 6 enabling scaled small cell deployment. 

Pioneering the use of Split 6 fronthaul for scaled deployment of small cell clusters in network blackspots

Dense Air presents Cutting-Edge Small Cell Solutions at London’s Small Cells World Summit 

Small Cells World Summit in London is just a day away, and Dense Air is excited to dive into informative discussions and insightful sessions. Our CTO, Andy Hobbs, will speak about the growing ecosystem of services needed for customers and how flexible, small cell solutions meet this expanding expectation. After this speaking session, Andy will be joined on stage with Radisys and Druid Networks to discuss open and inclusive, multi-carrier small cell solutions for in-building enterprise and targeted outdoor use cases such as “connected corridors.” 

As enterprises embrace digital transformation, mobile business solutions become increasingly robust, powered by cloud-native technologies, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Businesses today embrace both in-building wireless and workplace wireless connectivity as the foundation for productivity, connecting assets, and workplace efficiency. Dense Air partners with customers across industries and helps them advance their digital transformation journeys by strengthening their wireless connectivity. In pioneering the development of small cell centric technologies to deploy targeted clusters of small cells, Dense Air is enabling operators to provide pervasive connectivity in areas that were previously economically unviable.  

Why Dense Air? 

Dense Air, a Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP)company, is bridging the connectivity gaps across industries including manufacturing, hospitality, parking garages, healthcare, college campuses, commercial real estate, and multi-dwelling complexes. Our Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) solution augments mobile network operators’ existing networks to deliver optimal experiences to their customers, providing seamless connectivity for productive workplace activities and client engagement. 

Small Cell and O-RAN Basics 

Small cells support the densification of 4G and the adoption of 5G by delivering the flexible, scalable network infrastructure that is needed to bring higher capacity and lower latency services to end users and end devices.  

As mobile network operators adopt higher frequency bands for enhanced user experiences, they are faced with new challenges of shorter range and poor penetration. However, it is not cost-effective for carriers to build out additional coverage within a structure or building. This is where Dense Air steps in. Our solution ensures comprehensive coverage by mitigating the shorter range and poor indoor penetration associated with higher frequencies.   

Leveraging small cells that simultaneously use both licensed and unlicensed spectrum, we deploy clusters of low-power radio access points that are roughly the size of a small pizza box. Targeted deployments of small cells augment the existing macro network to strengthen coverage and capacity, while improving indoor and outdoor connectivity experiences. As the industry transitions to 5G and returns to the office/campus, small cell deployment will expand to improve connectivity where today’s solutions cannot.          

5G innovation and small cell advancements have led to the growth of Open Radio Access Networks (O-RAN), an open architecture that Dense Air has adopted in partnership with Radisys. O-RAN drives interoperability across equipment OEMs and vendors. In other words, radio equipment from varying vendors works together in an environment to enable plug-and-play flexibility and virtualization.  

Enterprise Relevance (The Neutral Host Approach) 

As enterprises shift from a ‘voice and data’ approach to a broader ecosystem encompassing automation, robotics, inventory management, real-time monitoring, critical communications, and immersive experiences, the need for optimized and flexible connectivity becomes critical. These businesses must leverage multi-carriers and dynamic solutions for both wired and wireless networking.     

Many in the industry are familiar with the Dense Air carrier agnostic approach and the ability to augment existing networks by identifying coverage gaps. Dense Air is also providing small cell CaaS solutions to enable enterprises to provide ubiquitous coverage and meet digital transformation goals.   

Dense Air’s advantages include:          

  • Ease in complementing existing networks 
  • Carrier-agnostic and CBRS-ready “shared wireless” 
  • In-building and near in-building connectivity optimization 
  • Reducing overall costs  
  • Simplified integration and automation 
  • Greater flexibility through dynamic and distributed architecture 
  • Data-driven and cloud-native 
  • Versatile spectrum utilization 
  • Equitable and sustainable solutions 
  • Expertise in targeting outdoor connectivity gaps 
  • Scalability for both carrier and the enterprise 

The future of work depends on equitable, inclusive, and seamless connectivity experiences to work anywhere, optimize operations, deliver engaging customer experiences, and innovate. Dense Air is proud to support the carrier community, while providing the carriers and their enterprise customers with CaaS solutions to advance next-generation connectivity use cases. To learn more about our solutions, please visit our site at or connect with us on social channels. 


Additional Resources and Related Links: 

Dense Air: Bridging infrastructure and the cloud; shaping the ecosystem of shared wireless services 

5G Networks: Revolutionizing the Future

Dense Air is honored to be the recipient of the Mobile Customer Experience Award for the 12th Annual CompassIntel Awards.

40 Tech Companies/Organizations honored in the 12th Annual CompassIntel Awards.

SAN ANTONIO, April 10, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Compass Intelligence is excited to announce the 12th annual award winners of the annual CompassIntel Awards to honor the top companies, products, and technology solutions in mobile, IoT, business tech and emerging technology industries. This year we received 112 nominations coming in from companies, public relations, and corporate communications firms, editors, journalists, analysts, and other colleagues. These awards were voted on by a group of leading industry-leading press, editors, journalists, thought leaders, and analysts in early April. A total of 40 awardees are being recognized this spring.

“This year, we are seeing an emergence of new business deals, continued consolidation, and the dust settling among industry participants as the market focuses on AI,” states Stephanie Atkinson, CEO & founder of Compass Intelligence. “The marketing cycle has moved from IoT to Edge to AI. The industry will continue to be pressured to demonstrate client wins, revenue growth, and real profitability. I would like to personally congratulate the 12th annual award winners for their leadership, innovation, and success!”

The marketing cycle has moved from IoT to Edge to AI. The industry will continue to be pressured to demonstrate client wins, revenue growth, and real profitability. I would like to personally congratulate the 12th annual award winners for their leadership, innovation, and success!

The award recipients of the 12th Annual Compass Intelligence Awards are as follows:


  • Connected Building: Smart Lighting – Signify
  • Connected Building: Smart Development and Design – ABB
  • Connected Building: Commercial Product Innovation – GridPoint
  • Connected Solution Leadership: Fleet Management Tracking – Samsara
  • Connected Solution Leadership: Asset Tracking – CalAmp
  • Top IoT Standards Body of the Year – IEEE
  • IoT Data: Edge Computing Company of the Year – Akamai’s Gecko Platform
  • IoT Data: Data Analytics and Software Company of the Year – Very
  • IoT Vehicle Telematics Company of the Year – KORE Wireless
  • IoT App Dev / Platform of the Year for the Enterprise Market – Snowflake
  • IoT Emerging Company of the Year for the Consumer & B2B Market – iApartments
  • IoT Emerging Company of the Year for the Enterprise Market – Armis
  • IoT Enablement Company of the Year for the Enterprise Market – Netmore Group
  • IoT Security Platform of the Year – Device Authority
  • IoT Semiconductor Company of the Year – Cavli Wireless
  • IoT Sensor Company of the Year – Arm
  • Industrial IoT Company of the Year – ObjectSpectrum


  • Workplace Device Innovation – Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
  • Operations Automation – Prologis
  • Mobile Customer Experience – Dense Air
  • Enterprise Communications – Oracle Enterprise Communications Platform
  • Team Collaboration – Salesforce’s Chatter Application
  • Augmented Reality – Lenovo’s ThinkReality
  • Mobile Equipment/Hardware Innovation – GXC Onyx Starter Kit
  • OpenRAN Innovation – Mavenir
  • Mobile Technology for Good – Samsung Galaxy for the Planet
  • Work from Home Product of the Year – reMarkable 2
  • 5G Innovation Product – T-Mobile Connected Workplace
  • 5G Innovation Service – Ericsson Private 5G
  • AV Innovation – HP | Poly Voyager Free 20 Wireless Earbuds
  • Enterprise Solution of the Year – TEAL


  • Machine Vision Technology – Cognex Corporation
  • AI Chatbot – ClearBlade’s GenAI Assistant for Intelligent Assets
  • Artificial Intelligence: Enterprise Solution – CoPilot AI
  • Natural Language Processing – emtelliPro+® AI assistant by emtelligent®
  • Autonomous Systems – OTTO Motors by Rockwell Automation
  • Sustainability Innovation – ION Clean Energy
  • Digital Twin Innovation – NVIDIA Earth-2 climate Digital Twin Cloud Platform
  • Intelligent Data & Analytics – Databricks
  • Physical Digital Experience – CSG Xponent

NOTE: All company and product names are the property of the companies or organizations listed above.

About The Annual Spring Awards

The 12th Annual 2024 CompassIntel Mobile/Business Tech, IoT, and Emerging Tech Awards honors companies, vendors, and organizations demonstrating innovation, leadership, disruption, and excellence in the technology industry. There are three primary areas of awards including Mobile/Business Tech, IoT, and Emerging Technologies, along with the CompassIntel personally selected awards. This year, there are 40 general award categories.

Learn more about the Awards:

Small Cell Forum Use Case: Dense Air’s pioneering use of Split 6 enabling scaled small cell deployment.

About the deployment  

Dense Air is pioneering the use of Split 6 fronthaul and smart antenna technology for the scaled deployment of small cell clusters to support or infill existing holes in carrier networks, or to provide densified, dedicated private mobile coverage, enabling a range of use cases and applications.  

The development of streetCell was supported through the UK Government’s Future RAN competition. Dense Air led the development, design and trial deployment of small cell clusters which would enhance network resilience and robustness – this project was called CoMP-ORAN, which stands for Coordinated Multipoint – Open Radio Access Networks.  

One key use case for Split 6, an architecture championed by Small Cell Forum (SCF), is in high performance scenarios such as Connected Automated Vehicles (CAV). Using smart antenna technologies like CoMP, Dense Air’s small cell cluster design reduces the frequency of handover, providing contiguous connectivity to the vehicles, minimising the chance of data drops or disconnect.  

Trial deployments and field testing happened in both Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire and at Teesside International Airport in the north of England. However, the technology being developed is versatile and applicable to various global markets. After gaining Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval in 2023, streetCell is currently being deployed at scale across the United States. 

The impact 

The development of streetCell brought together several SCF members – Dense Air, Radisys and Airspan – not only to design and develop the hardware solution but also to deploy an effective end-to-end Open RAN solution, built on industry partnerships. This model, proven at the Millbrook trial, can now be offered as a complete neutral host solution where each cell within a cluster using licensed spectrum can provide densified carrier services or private secure connectivity. Although at Millbrook the use case centred on automotive, Dense Air is now deploying for enterprise and industry and working closely with a number of local government bodies, utilising existing street infrastructure to cost effectivity bring mobile service to areas in need of service. 

This video illustrates a vehicle (represented by the blue dot) driving around the city course at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire at the Cenex Expo event in September 2023. The dynamic white lines illustrate the constant connection to the vehicle from multiple cells within this cluster of 5 cells (represented by the hexagon).  

The technical details  

CoMP takes lead from macro level Multi Input, Multi Output (MIMO) technologies, provides significant advantages, such as: 

  • Each streetCell can provide both 360-degree coverage, or multi directional sectorisation with adaptable beam patterns. 
  • Enables the remote optimization of streetCell clusters via a Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC) to the targeted coverage and capacity objectives. 
  • Multiple Transmit Receive Points (Multi TRP), designed for CoMP, maximise the gains from spatial diversity and spatial multiplexing. 
  • Compliments macro cells by providing additional in-fill. 
  • Improves deployment robustness. 
  • Removes the need for pre-deployment radio frequency (RF) design phase to consider antenna alignment / placement. 
  • Eliminates nulls in target coverage area and optimises cell footprint post deployment. 
  • Designed to support multi-sector 2×2 MIMO operation. 

The outcome  

To support new 5G use cases, the industry is required to become increasingly innovative in how to reduce cost while at the same time provide enhanced reliability. By augmenting the existing network, identifying, and targeting network weak spots, Dense Air has enabled carriers to tap into seamless, low-cost additional coverage and capacity through a scalable, flexible small cell deployment model.  

Their use of Split 6 fronthaul and switch beam antenna significantly reduces the cost to deploy clusters of shared network infrastructure in supporting diversified use cases. This technology which is an integral aspect of their streetCell product line, initially tested and proven at UTAC Millbrook Proving Ground, has been implemented into Dense Air’s end to end As-a-Service solution with partners Radisys and EdgeQ, currently been deployed to support several CAV use cases across the United States.  

This video provides an overview of the Dense Air small cell deployment at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. 

To read more about this use case click here.

5G Networks: Revolutionizing the Future

5G is not just faster 4G – it offers up a broad range of new network architecture, operational and service options that go beyond smartphone connectivity, and it can take full advantage of cloud platforms, open architectures, semiconductor innovations and more. In this panel discussion, held during MWC in Barcelona, James Estes, CEO Dense Air, Arun Bhikshesvaran, CEO Radisys Corporation, and Vinay Ravuri, CEO EdgeQ Inc. explore the revolutionary potential of the many 5G options available to enterprises, mobile operators, cities and communities, and other indoor & outdoor public and private use cases.