February '18

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B U S I N E S S 198 • RV PRO • February 2018 rv-pro.com By Joe Schmelzer Joe Schmelzer is senior director of products at Nextivity. He has developed a variety of products and industrial devices for chipset vendors, OEMs and service providers, including products for Sony, Qualcomm, Google, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Dell and HP. He enjoys speaking opportunities and writing. For more information, contact hello@ cel-fi.com or visit www.cel-fi.com. Staying Connected Cellular connectivity in and around RVs is easier than ever thanks to a variety of technology advances. Whether at home or on the road, it is increasingly important for people to remain connected. A mericans love a road trip. It's estimated that 8 million RVs are in circulation at any given time, with about 3 million out on the road – all contributing to an annual $50 billion positive effect on the economy. With so many RVs on the road, voice and data connectivity are not simply matters of conve- nience. Although many daily functions are tied to smartphones – such as remotely monitoring the alarm system, or keeping track of calories – RVers also need cellular service for safety and security on the road. However, an RV – particularly one that is mobile or nomadic – can't easily connect to a fixed source for communications, so the source must be wireless. Here is a look at some of the options RV dealers can offer customers to provide optimum cellular connectivity. Tools for Staying Connected There are four types of cellular connections an RV owner might desire: • Mobile (cellular) phone service: This refers to the ability to place and receive voice calls in the coach, which is often the primary need. • Data service to the mobile phone: Most cell phones include applications and features that rely on a connection to the Internet. Many navigation-related services, like Google Maps or Waze, update on the fly over the cellular data connection as the vehicle travels along. • MiFi: It's common for personal-use electronics devices to include embedded cellular modems that enable those PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEXTIVITY

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