Wi-Fi and smart technology key as PBSA investment expands across Europe



According to recent research by Bonard, the number of international students in Europe is growing exponentially, with an increase of 92% in CEE since 2009 and 53% in Western Europe. However, in some cities, supply is struggling to meet demands, with cities such as Warsaw and Copenhagen reporting a ratio of over 50 students to each private PBSA bed (73:1 and 55:1 respectively).

Much like in the UK, the PBSA boom has begun to filter into smaller, more regional cities as developers have recognised the need for student accommodation is not limited to capital cities.. In their 2019 Annual Trend Report, the Class of 2020 named their 20 top student cities based on affordability, study experience and city environment. Crucially, 13 of these are not capital cities, with Munich, Porto and Amsterdam taking 3 of the top 5 places.

Developers have begun to invest in these regional markets and according to Bonard, there are currently 6,499 beds in the pipeline in Porto and 6,486 in Amsterdam. Other cities in Iberia are receiving substantial investment, with Lisbon expected to see a further 12,334 beds completed in the next few years. In Spain, 73% of the total investment in real estate has been into cities outside Madrid.

Whether their accommodation is in the capital or a smaller city, 73% of European students rank high speed internet as the most important feature of their accommodation, with 91% of students using social media every day to keep in touch with friends and family.

According to Uniplaces, more than 20% of students in Italy and Portugal want a smart home. Smart Home solutions like smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart metering and environmental controls can all be installed before students move in. Services managed by the operator but used by the student with no cumbersome router can now be installed as standard. This means zero hassle for students who can focus solely on getting the most from their university experience.

What does Pervasive Wi-Fi mean for building services?

Pervasive Wi-Fi will extend the reach and range of managed services available to operators with new tools to efficiently manage properties. Solutions like utility submeters that automatically and accurately measure consumption. Centrally managed thermostats mean the heating can be switched off for unoccupied apartments and ambient temperature settings for communal spaces used to maintain the green credentials of the property. Introducing new control systems over Pervasive Wi-Fi will be more cost effective and easier to introduce than traditional infrastructure.

The international student of 2020 has high expectations of their accommodation, anticipating an environment that enhances their lifestyle. Pervasive Wi-Fi means connected environments extend beyond the front door to the gym, the cinema room, yoga studio, cafes, parking lot and communal outdoor spaces.

Managed Internet Service for University and Student Accommodation

Enhance your students’ online experience with better Wi-Fi for student accommodation. From in depth monthly service reports, annual reviews, marketing materials to a student friendly Service Desk and onsite support, Glide will provide everything you need for a fully reliable managed internet service for both you and your students.

Wi-Fi for Student Accommodation

Students want to be constantly connected, wherever they are. Glide’s best in class intelligent pervasive Wi-Fi means that students can enjoy a seamless internet connection across their multiple devices wherever they are in their student accommodation. Plus, all the support they need.

Get in touch with a member of our team to find out about our fully managed internet service. Call us on 03333 800 800 or drop us an email at, or find out more details on our website.