Groove Technology Solutions (opens in new tab) acquired Ekho Comm, a Public Safety BDA systems provider and installer of cellular amplification and distributed antenna systems (DAS). Previously only servicing the Mountain West regions of Utah, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, Ekho Comm's expertise in cellular amplification complements Groove's current voice, video, and data solutions offerings.
Now customers nationwide will have a service solution to address weak cell signals inside commercial buildings, including hotels, hospitals, education facilities, senior living centers, student housing, multiunit dwellings, and parking structures, for better communication and emergency response support. With this acquisition, Ekho Comm's Jim Henderson becomes Groove's director of in-building cellular.
[SCN Top 50 Systems Integrators 2021] (opens in new tab)
"Groove is approaching its 20-year anniversary as a technology solutions provider in voice, video, and data," said Lance Platt, president of Groove. "With the evolution of cell phones and the shift to 5G, we have seen a growing need for cellular amplification among our customers. Bringing on Jim and Ekho Comm is a natural addition to our company, as they have the expertise in delivering a high-end, reliable solution that meets the growing needs of our national customer base. Together, Groove and Ekho will now offer the broadest, most capable technology solutions available to the hospitality, health care, and education markets."
Groove Boosts Cell Signals, Puts Safety First
Delivering reliable mobile phone and wireless signals, Groove's cellular amplification service is the perfect solution for facility operators, IT administrators, and other decision-makers tasked with solving the problem of dropped calls, dead spots, and poor communications during emergency situations. Roughly 80% of all mobile calls are accessed indoors; however, materials such as wood, drywall, plastics, and Low-E glass can all impede cellular signals, while materials such as tin, copper, silver, aluminum, and others can block signals completely. As these materials become increasingly common in modern construction, consistent wireless performance is incredibly difficult to achieve. Furthering the problem, 5G is the dominant wireless standard, which has limited range and can be easily obstructed in a building. In addition, Groove's cellular amplification services ensure better safety in emergencies. When first responders enter a building, they need to know they can communicate with each other or call in for help. They often rely on wireless communications in these situations.
Groove has designed and installed DAS that helps extend and amplify signals inside facilities large and small, as well as in sprawling resorts, properties, and campus environments to ensure reliable cellular coverage and instant access to essential wireless applications. No matter the application, industry, or organization, Groove's cellular amplification systems provide essential functionality, convenience, and critical safety capabilities.
[AV Network's top stories, product news, and expert insights] (opens in new tab)
"In the past, whenever we were working on a project, clients would ask about their other low-voltage needs, such as Wi-Fi," said Henderson. "Our capacity and focus were limited to what we knew and did best—cellular amplification. We didn't have the resources to expand beyond that. Groove not only has the reach in many verticals but also the customers and integrators to support the growing number of projects that had previously been outside our service area and expertise. I'm thrilled to combine forces with Groove and deliver the benefits of Ekho Comm's DAS to customers nationwide alongside Groove's unmatched suite of low-voltage service options."
In addition to the service benefits, the acquisition brings with it additional financial agility and value to customers. It's common on projects to discover the need for cellular amplification after construction is complete, making it difficult for organizations to find capex funds for this essential service. Groove's service model moves this offering to a much more affordable opex cost, helping customers free up cash flow while exponentially improving the guest experience, satisfaction, and safety.