UK to get first 5G-enabled shopping centre
The Square shopping centre in Camberley is set to become the first fully 5G-enabled retail destination in the UK thanks to a partnership between Surrey Heath Borough Council and Huawei.
Powered by the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, the initiative will provide a testing ground for new innovations in the retail sector.
Surrey Heath Borough Council said the technology will positively transform the experiences and opportunities available to shoppers and retailers alike.
Rahim Tafazolli, director and founder of the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, explained: “By providing the cutting-edge technology for the UK’s first fully 5G-enabled shopping centre, we will give Camberley’s retailers a head-start in the race to transform retail for the future. 5G is not just faster phone technology – it opens up a completely new world of ultra-reliable, always-on ways of transforming a connected world of retail.
Jerry Wang, CEO of Huawei UK, added: “5G will open the door for virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and tailored in-store signage and entertainment experiences. It will also allow greater control over how stock levels and the supply chain is managed, improve customer insights and in-store experience for customers when they are shopping.”
The Square is a 460,000 sq ft undercover shopping centre in Camberley. With a line-up of 110 retail brands that include River Island, House of Fraser and Next, it attracts over 8 million visitors a year.
As such, The Square is significantly smaller than Helsinki’s Mall of Tripla and Shanghai’s L+ Mall - two of the world’s first shopping centres to get a 5G network.
The wireless technology is expected to revolutionise the physical retail experience, giving the sector a much needed boost amid fierce competition with online shopping.
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