The projections for a robust retail segment this year are good. The National Retail Federation predicts US retail sales could grow between 6.5% and 8.2% this year; and 50 million square feet of new retail space is expected to open this year, according to tracking Coresight Research.
This predicted growth occurs alongside a growing trend for retailers to rely more than ever on cellular connectivity for efficient operations, customer satisfaction and increased sales. Traditionally, retail stores have wanted cellular coverage for customers to improve the experience, help system redundancy in the event of their IT systems failing, and improve customer safety in parking lots. Today, mobile payment services, shopping delivery apps that force pickers to use their mobile phones to shop and shop online with check-in and out of curbside apps also create the need for extensive cellular coverage in stores.
An example of the convergence between the expected growth of the retail industry and the demand for cellular coverage in stores is a large national retailer that has opened smaller 25,000 square foot retail stores in underground locations. At New York. As the store locations are mostly concrete bunkers, employees and customers could not receive a cell signal inside the stores. Employees missed emergency calls and important communications. Customers couldn’t log into the in-store app while shopping to quickly find items or identify which ones were on sale.
The hired retail chain UberSignal, a Pittsburg-based cell callback solutions provider, to solve the problem of poor cell reception.
âNow that operators are no longer subsidizing the cost of in-building DAS systems almost as much as they used to, we find that the overall cost of providing in-store cellular coverage is still very significant – not just the initial cost, but the costs. operational costs thereof and deployment time. A traditional active DAS can take 18 months to deploy, and many installations cannot wait that long, âsays Dan Morin, co-owner of UberSignal.
UberSignal has chosen to install the Cel-Fi QUATRA Active hybrid DAS to solve coverage issues faced by the national retailer on budget. QUATRA delivers a cellular signal up to 1000 times stronger than analog amplifiers and two-way passive DAS (BDA) systems on the market, providing a much larger coverage footprint for multi-carrier voice and data over 3G networks / 4G / 5G.
For points of sale, two to three installers were deployed for each on-site installation. âIt took about three weeks for each store. Normally a Cel-Fi installation is a bit faster than this, but these were difficult installations because we modernized it in a warehouse that already has shelving and very specific requirements for using the duct, paint it to match everything else, and basically blend in with the surroundings, âsays Morin. âSince installing the Cel-Fi QUATRA systems, cell reception has been very good inside every outlet. The occupants are very happy with the ability to use their cell phones to send text messages and phone calls as needed. “
For more information on how Cel-Fi QUATRA can be used to quickly and affordably provide improved cellular coverage for subscribers in the growing segment of retail and grocery chains, join the pre-recorded webinar “Cel-Fi product delivery 3G, 4G and 5G coverage in grocery stores and retail spaces“.
About the Author
Dean Richmond is the Senior Director of Marketing at Nextivity. During his career, he has developed strategies and launched products in the field of information technology and wireless products. Dean has established strategic partnerships between channel partners, carriers, broadband providers and brands such as Microsoft, Google, Intel, Sony and Toshiba to successfully develop the business units. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.cel-fi-com