Henry Quintin, President & CEO
Having the internet is no longer an option but a necessity. With the outburst in handheld mobile devices, the need for staying connected via a wireless network such as Wi-Fi or cellular has been further accentuated. Set against this backdrop is Sky Packets dedicated to providing Wi-Fi services to municipalities, cities, state governments, and business improvement districts (BID). “Today, people expect connectivity wherever they go, be it a concert, a shopping mall, or a sporting event. Access to Wi-Fi is something that they expect for them to disseminate information or share their experience on social media,” says Henry Quintin, President, and CEO of Sky Packets. Hence, with the growing need for connectivity and the push towards realizing the concept of smart cities, Wi-Fi initiatives are on priority. To this end, Sky Packets has carved a niche in the space and enables easy Wi-Fi deployments that help its clients provide a seamless wireless experience to the end-users.
Sky Packets being a leading technology partner for designing, installing, and maintaining Wi-Fi deployments can provide a full end-to-end turnkey Wi-Fi solution to fit any needs. Their various wireless services deployments include municipal Wi-Fi (Muni Wi-Fi), BID Wi-Fi, property Wi-Fi, retail Wi-Fi, and more. The client can choose from any of the services they deem suitable. For example, Muni Wi-Fi is wireless network initiatives for cities and municipalities to boost the overall connectivity. Having a strong network can have a major impact in a municipality; it will help city-authorities to improve security by installing security IP cameras across the city. Additionally, public parks having Wi-Fi will be lucrative options for the locals as well as tourist to hang out, and in turn, this will help boost the local business around the area.
On the other hand, their retail Wi-Fi is for shops and showrooms. Providing free Wi-Fi access in a retail store has high chances of making the customer stay longer and influence their buying decisions. Additionally, they may post the content they like in the store on their social media, promoting the content without incurring any extra charges on the marketing.
Mentioning about the client onboarding process, Quintin says that whenever a client approaches the company they, at the first step, evaluate the needs of the client. Thereafter, Sky Packets does the feasibility study, where they verify the locations and compare it with the client’s ideas to ensure whether the project can be supported by the infrastructure available. They identify and add if something is missing; otherwise, they go to the detailed design and implementation phase that involves working with city engineers, officials within the local agencies. The company is capable of doing physical installations themselves and can be the project managers to oversee the project from start to end.
Going an extra mile, they continue to offer the support maintenance program after the completion of the project and provide services for revenue generation from the network deployed.
Being creative, finding ways around the obstacles and challenges using our experience to help design better networks and provide best user experience is what sets apart us
Implementing the wireless network comes with a fair share of challenges like designing the network strategically to cover the maximum possible area while installing the hotspots and then finding the right assets such as lampposts, traffic lights, for those hotspots. Helping Sky Packets to mitigate these challenges and stay ahead of the competition is their experience of over ten years. Being in the industry for long has enabled them to pinpoint the problems efficiently and design the network quickly. “Being creative, finding ways around the obstacles and challenges using our experience to help design better networks and provide best user experience is what sets apart us,” mentions Quintin. Some of their successful deployments are in cities like Washington DC, Long Island, Boston and the largest Muni Wi-Fi deployment in the nation in Harlem, New York, which was 90 blocks of continuous Wi-Fi coverage. In 2015, the company built a functional wireless network for 60,000 people attending Global Citizens concert at Central Park, New York. “We have also built Google a network in Downtown, Boulder as a goodwill service to the residents of Boulder, Colorado. It is a continuous network for almost 15 to 17 blocks along Pearl Street in downtown Boulder. And that’s just strictly for free access,” adds Quintin.
With technology changing at such a rapid rate, the requirement of a skilled workforce is the need of the hour. Realizing this need, Sky Packets has collaborated with community groups like the Red Hook Initiative, New America, and Silicon Harlem to help develop and employee digital stewards/digital ambassadors. These ambassadors go through an intensive internship with the community group, learning a series of technical skills, with Sky Packets monitoring the performance. Additionally, the company works with them to provide real in the field experience by making ambassadors work along with their technicians. Thereafter, depending on the requirement, Sky Packets hires those that have made it through the program. This initiative not only caters to the emerging market workforce demands but also bridges the gap for those looking to gain the necessary skills to be employed.
Envisioning the future, Sky Packets has expanded its programs across the U.S., and few of their projects are already underway on the West Coast as well as in Vancouver, Canada. The company is continually upgrading their service portfolio and working on technologies like 5G to cater and build robust networks for the clients. Moreover, Sky Packets is focused on growing and deploying their services that have become quintessential for cities in their smart city initiatives, as well as their public Wi-Fi programs and objectives. “We will continue to be at the forefront of our services by proactively incorporating new technologies and making the customer experience frictionless by designing networks that are easy to connect and highly reliable,” concludes Quintin.